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Current Position:Home » News » Agri & Animal Products » Fruits & Vegetables » Topic

Carrots could use a boost

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-03-22  Views: 4
Core Tip: “The crazy carrot weeks,” this is the headline in Dutch newspaper Trouw above an article bringing attention to the versatile consumption possibilities of carrot. The many shapes in which carrot is available, both fresh and processed, are discussed.
“The crazy carrot weeks,” this is the headline in Dutch newspaper Trouw above an article bringing attention to the versatile consumption possibilities of carrot. The many shapes in which carrot is available, both fresh and processed, are discussed. A truly traditional product is brought to the attention of people in a wonderful manner. In a country such as the UK, the carrot sector takes care of this itself. But as regards size, the British carrot sector is larger than the Dutch one. Annually, 700 to 800,000 tonnes of carrots are cultivated in the UK, compared to 450 to 500,000 tonnes in the Netherlands. The British carrot, however, mostly remains in the UK, while the Dutch carrot production is predominantly sold abroad.

The domestic purchases of carrot have decreased somewhat in the Netherlands in recent years. Figures from Gfk/GroentenFruitHuis indicate that these have dropped to below five kilograms of fresh carrot per household per year. This figure excludes fresh carrot processed into mixtures and packets and also the tinned foods, and frozen and dried products. It also excludes carrot products that have somehow been processed into our food.

Production growing outside of EU and North America
Globally, China is by far the largest carrot producer, with more than 17 million tonnes nowadays. Uzbekistan, Russia and the US follow with about 1.5 million tonnes each. Ukraine is also a major producer of carrots, with about one million tonnes. Poland and the UK follow. Other large carrot producers are Japan, Germany and Turkey. The Netherlands is next, closely followed by France, Italy, India and Pakistan.

The increase of the global carrot production to an amount of almost 40 million tonnes can be attributed to the increase of production in China. Production did not grow in the EU and North America in the past ten years. However, growth can be seen in former Soviet republics and other Asian and African countries, although the amounts produced there are not as large as in China and the EU.

Increased international trade did not persist in 2016
Of all carrots, only a small part is traded internationally. The export of all countries combined amounts to 2.5 to 3 million tonnes of fresh product. Until 2015, export gradually increased to almost 2.7 million tonnes compared to not even 2 million tonnes in the 2005/09 period. Last year, the export of various countries decreased, so that an estimated 2.5 million tonnes was internationally traded globally. China is also the world’s most important export country for carrots. Annually, China exports 650,000 tonnes of carrots nowadays. Ten years ago, that was still about 420,000 tonnes. The most important buyers are neighbouring countries Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia. Despite Chinese product not being boycotted by Russia, export of Chinese carrot to that country significantly decreased in 2015 and 2016.

Not much trade in late 2016

The Netherlands is the second export country of carrots globally. Unfortunately, no figures are available anymore for the export of the various types of carrot. According to KCB/GFH, exports of carrots amounted to 66,000 tonnes in 2015, and 53,000 tonnes in 2016. For those years, Eurostat comes to an amount of 423,000 and 310,000 tonnes, respectively. According to figures from CBS, export is even bigger. In 2015, more than 500,000 tonnes were exported, and about 420,000 tonnes in 2016. The difference will mostly concern carrots meant for international industry in Belgium and Germany.

The export of carrots, which did not flourish in the second half of the 2015/16 season, was also not great in the first half of the current 2016/17 season.

Much sown in 2016, but harvest is disappointing
In the past year, many carrots have been sown. The total carrot area amounted to 9,670 hectares in 2016, 6,630 hectares of which was winter carrot, 2,790 hectares was for carrots meant for washing and cutting plants, and 250 hectares was for bunched carrots. For all three, this was a record. However, because of the bad weather circumstances, production will not be of record size.

It is remarkable that, unlike for many other vegetable products, the number of carrot companies is not decreasing. On the contrary: the past year saw more companies cultivate carrots than in previous years. Yet the increase of the area was such that the average size of a cultivation company in 2016 was larger than before that time. On average, the companies that cultivate winter carrot are 7.3 hectares, while those of carrots for washing and cutting plants are 6.3 hectares. Companies that cultivate bunched carrot have 4.2 hectares on average for this product. Winter carrot is mostly cultivated in polders, while carrot for washing and cutting plants is mostly cultivated in North Brabant and Limburg.

Dutch export mostly industrial product for Germany and Belgium
According to Eurostat, Germany is the most important buyer of Dutch carrots, followed by Belgium. This mostly concerns industrial carrots, and for Belgium it is practically exclusively industrial carrot. According to Belgian import figures, even more Dutch carrot is for the Belgian (frozen) industry than according to the Dutch CBS. Besides export to Germany and Belgium, considerably smaller amounts are sent to a wide range of countries. The Czech Republic, France, the UK and Poland are sales markets nearby that get sent fair amounts. Additionally, Dutch carrot is also sent to markets further away, such as Mauritania and Senegal. Before the boycott, Russia was good for more than 20,000 tonnes.

The import of carrot in the Netherlands was smaller in recent years than a few years ago, according to Eurostat figures. According to figures from CBS, more was imported in 2016. This also concerns trade with Belgium. The CBS registers more import of carrot from Belgium than Eurostat.

The Netherlands imports a fairly large amount form Israel. In the past year, the import of Israeli product was somewhat smaller than in 2015. Other suppliers are Spain, Germany, Morocco and France.

Belgium: Cultivation and import mostly for industry
Belgium is the world’s most important importer of carrot. As said, it mostly concerns import of industrial carrot from the Netherlands. France is another supplier of importance.

Belgium also produces a lot of carrot. According to agricultural figures, more than 4,300 hectares of carrot was cultivated in 2015, 3,800 hectares of which were meant for industry. Though other sources mention an even larger surface, 5,400 hectares, which produces about 300,000 tonnes.

Annually, Belgium exports 130 to 150,000 tonnes of carrot. France is its main buyer, followed at some distance by the Netherlands and Germany. Import in Belgium is at a higher level, with 250 to 280,000 tonnes. The Netherlands is its largest supplier. As said before, this mostly concerns carrot meant for the Belgian (frozen) industry. Considerable amounts are also imported from France.

Germany and the UK mostly import in the spring
Besides being a large producer of carrot (600,000 tonnes), Germany is also an important import country. In the past year, it was slightly less with about 230,000 tonnes, compared to the 265,000 tonnes imported in 2015. Fewer carrots were imported from most their important supplier, the Netherlands in particular. The import from Italy and Spain was significantly on the rise last year. From Israel, on the other hand, much less was imported. The most carrot is imported in April, May and June.

The UK mostly complements its large domestic production with imported carrots from Israel, and to a lesser extent from France. Import demand is mostly large in May and June. In the past two years the UK imported 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes from the Netherlands.

EU countries trade between themselves, import outside EU mostly from Israel
Of the more than one million tonnes imported by all EU countries combined, only a small part comes from outside of the EU. In recent years, this amounted to between 70 and 80,000 tonnes each year. For EU countries, Israel is the most important supplier from outside the EU. In 2014 and 2015, it concerned 33,000 and 45,000 tonnes respectively, and in 2016 it was also 45,000 tonnes. The Netherlands and the UK are important sales markets in the EU for carrots from Israel.

According to figures from the Israeli statistical agency, Israel exported about 140,000 tonnes in total in 2015 and 2016. Russia is the most important buyer. In the past year, the export to Russia, however, dropped by more than ten per cent. But on the other hand, more could be sold in the UK and the US.

Russia: 100,000 tonnes less import

The Russian import of carrot continues to decrease. It was not just Israel that supplied less in 2016. China also sent less, and the transit via Belarus decreased. Other countries export small amounts of carrot to Russia. Before the boycott, Russia imported 250,000 tonnes, and in 2016 it was only 150,000 tonnes. The question remains whether trade from former Soviet republics can be measured properly.

Turkey also exports a fair amount of carrot, but except for Bulgaria (Final destination Russia?), Turkish carrot mostly goes to countries in the Middle East.

Australia and South Africa are also carrot exporters, but neither country supplies to the EU. Australian carrots find their way to, among other places, the Gulf States and countries in South and East Asia. South African product remains on the African continent. The US, Canada and Mexico also trade practically exclusively with each other, with some imports from mostly Israel and a number of Latin American countries.
 
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