The European Union has once again emerged as the global leader in agri-food trade in 2017, with imports and exports for the year totalling €255 billion.
EU exports of agri-food products reached €138 billion in 2017, representing an annual increase of 5.1 per cent, while imports came to €117 billion. This resulted in a net trade surplus of €21 billion, according to the latest official data.
Exports to all five of the EU's current main partners - the US, China, Switzerland, Russia and Japan - rose during the year, with recent progress on bilateral trade negotiations with Canada, Japan and Mexico likely to open up new markets in the coming years.
Additionally, the sourcing of imports has been diversified over the last few years, with the share of imports from Brazil and the US decreasing in favor of other suppliers. As a result of recent positive growth trends, the output of the EU's agricultural sector is now estimated at €427 billion.
Phil Hogan, commissioner for agriculture and rural development, said: "Our ambitious trade agenda - with recent successes in negotiations with Canada, Japan and Mexico - helps EU farmers and food producers make full use of the opportunities of international markets, while recognizing the need to provide sufficient safeguards for more sensitive sectors."