UK fruit imports held steady in 2017

UK fruit imports held steady in 2017


Fresh Fruit Portal

International Trade Center (ITC) data shows fruit and nut imports in the United Kingdom rose by 1% last year to reach US$6.35 billion, driven largely by upticks from South Africa (+14%), Germany (+2%) Costa Rica (+10%) and Peru (+10%).

The figure would have been higher if it weren’t for downturns in exports from leading provider Spain (-6%), the Netherlands (-1%), Chile (-2%) and France (-1%).

The total volume brought into the country was relatively static at 4.2 million metric tons (MT).

The ITC data is in US dollars, but a rough estimate in pounds sterling can be made based on average exchange rates, translating to a 6% increase to £4.93 billion.

These figures come despite a decline in the country’s two leading import commodities — bananas (-3%) and grapes (-2%) — which combined account for more than a fifth of the total.

Apple imports saw a 5% increase in value to hit US$461 million in the UK market, however this number isn’t so positive considering volume jumped by 32% to 527, 154 metric tons (MT).

Results were mixed for citrus fruit, with imports down for mandarins (-9%; US$348 million) and lemons (-12%; US$176 million), while orange imports rose (+11%; US$234 million).

Blueberries dropped 2% to US$333 million, but values were still much higher than in any year prior to 2016. Meanwhile, avocado shipments surged 14% to US$276 million.

The sharpest increase in the category was for cashew nuts, which were up 25% at US$218 million.

In terms of countries exporting to the UK market, Spain continued to see returns above US$1 billion, representing a higher figure than the sales achieved in 2015.

The Mediterranean country was followed by South Africa (US$644 million), Germany (US$398 million), the Netherlands (US$364 million), Chile (US$298 million), the United States (US$265 million) and France (US$257 million).

Latin American countries rounded out the top 10 suppliers with Costa Rica (US$254 million), Colombia (US$250 million) and Peru (US$228 million).

Since 2013, the biggest increases in fruit exports to the UK have come from Peru (+119%) and Germany (+83%).



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