Europe’s agri food exports increase to record levels

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The value of EU agri-food exports in January 2019 increased for the fourth year in a row to reach a new record level of €11.2 billion.

Agri-food imports also grew to a record of €10.8 billion, leading to the monthly trade value topping €22 billion, compared to €21 billion in January 2018.

The highest increases in monthly export values (January 2019 compared to January 2018) were recorded for the USA (up €191 million), China (an increase of €91 million), Switzerland (a rise of €39 million), Philippines and Russia (both increased by €29 million). In contrast, exports fell most to Hong Kong (down €44 million), Turkey (a decrease of €29 million), Angola (a fall of €26 million), Saudi Arabia (down €24 million) and Jordan (decreasing by €23 million).

By sector, the highest export growth was achieved in spirits and liqueurs, wine and milk powders, respectively increasing by €81 million, €68 million and €58 million.

As for imports, the value of EU agri-food increased most for products coming from the USA (up €291 million) and Ukraine (an increase of €246 million). Imports that decreased most were from Brazil (down €145 million), Indonesia (a decrease of €97 million) and Malaysia (a fall of €68 million).

In terms of sectors, imports of cereals other than wheat and rice and oilcakes rose the most, respectively increasing by €170 million and €134 million.

Meanwhile, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) is predicting a slight fall in UK farmgate milk prices as we hit the summer months.

Their latest analysis confirms that the equivalent market value of milk (MMV) decreased by 0.3ppl in March from the previous month. Based on historical relationships this could flow into market-driven farmgate prices come July.

The projected change is based on the strong link found between movements in the value returned to manufacturers from the market (MMV) and movements in farmgate milk prices.

On average, it was found that a 1ppl change in the MMV will lead to around a 0.6ppl change in the overall GB average milk price, generally three months’ later.

Differences will arise due to the markets in which milk buyers operate as well as the mechanism they use to set the milk price. These will impact the timing of price movements as well as the size of the change.

Other factors which are likely to impact milk prices will be the degree of competition for milk in the market, changes to available processing capacity, import competition and contract negotiations.