Andalusia, leader in agri-food exports from Spain

Andalusia’s agri-food exports have reached a new record since comparable data existed (1995), adding 6,232 million euros in the first four months of 2024, thanks to an interannual growth of 14.2%, which makes the community a leader in international sales, with almost one in every four euros that Spain exports (24.7%). This growth is mainly driven by the significant increase in olive oil sales, of 84%, reaching a historical record of 1,623 million euros.

This is a data of special value, since the growth occurs during January-April 2023, which was also a record four-month period and because, in addition, it occurs in a four-month period in which the productivity of the Andalusian countryside was highly conditioned by the drought. . 

With all this context, the Andalusian agribusiness has contributed in this first quarter of the year 3,762 million euros of positive balance to the trade balance of Andalusia with abroad, also with record figures, thanks to a coverage rate of 252%, up to 111 points above the Spain average (141%). 

These are data that show the strength and significance of a sector such as agri-food and beverages for Andalusia, which accounts for more than four out of every ten euros (43%) that the community sells abroad. A sector with a high capacity to generate territorial cohesion, since five of the eight Andalusian provinces reached their best historical record in the first quarter analyzed, Almería being the one that exports the most, with 1,782 million euros, and Jaén the one that grows the most , 93%, driven by olive oil, a product of which more than doubles its sales.

According to the latest data made public by Andalusia TRADE-Business Agency for the Transformation and Economic Development of the Junta de Andalucía, the community, in this first quarter of 2024, continues to lead Spain’s food and beverage exports, concentrating almost one of every four euros (24.7%) of the total (25,238 million), 4.8 points ahead of Catalonia (19.9%) and 11 points ahead of the Valencian Community (13.7%).

Olive oil, fruits, preserves and drinks

Andalusia sees 9 of the top 10 chapters in the sector believe in the period. In this way, the main protagonist of the good performance of Andalusian agriculture in this first four months of the year is olive oil, from second place in the ranking, with 1,623 million euros in exports (26% of the total) and a growth of 84 % compared to January-April 2023, which places it at historical record figures. This product is included in the chapter of animal and vegetable fats and oils (1,770 million), which grew by 72%. Fruits, preserved vegetables, beverages and plants also reach historical records, adding 5 of the first 10 chapters with records never achieved.

Even so, vegetables, with 1,944 million, 31% of total sales, continue to lead Andalusian agricultural sales, although they register a year-on-year decrease of 8.4%. After fats and oils; In third position is the fruit chapter, which registers a record of 1,351 million (21.7%), thanks to the 6.2% year-on-year increase in its sales. They are followed by vegetable and fruit preparations (canned goods), with a record of 260 million (4.2%) and an increase of 24.6%, the third best in the  Top10 .

In fifth place are meat products, with 163 million (2.6%) and an increase of 2.9%; followed by beverages, alcoholic liquids and vinegar, with 121 million (1.9%) and growth of 33%, the second highest growth in the  Top10 , also historic. The seventh most exported chapter corresponds to fish and crustaceans, with 119 million (1.9%) and an increase of 3%; followed by live plants and floriculture products, with 104 million (1.4%) and an improvement of 19.7%; with figures never before exported in these four months; followed by various food preparations, with 87 million (1.4%) and an improvement of 0.5%; and cereals close the ranking, with 57 million (0.9%) and an increase of 16.3%.

Diversification: the five continents are growing

Andalusia increases its food and beverage exports in 14 of its top 20 markets in the first four months of the year, with significant progress in the diversification of destinations in the  Top20  and growing on all five continents. 

Europe, the first Andalusian agricultural market, with 4,967 million euros, grows 8.8%. In America, the second continental destination, the increase reaches 49%, reaching sales of 723 million. The United States, the seventh market in the world and the first non-European, plays a special role, where exports increase by 48% to 469 million (7.5% of the total) with the second best growth in the Top 10 destinations in Andalusia. Mexico, for its part, has already reached twelfth place, with 76 million exported and an increase of +42%.

In Asia, sales have also increased substantially by 29%, to 364 million; as in Africa, where they rose 27.2%, to 100 million. However, it is Oceania where the highest percentage growth is recorded, 101%, with Australia, with 63 million (+104%), accounting for almost all sales to the continent, from 14th place in the ranking of destinations in Andalusia. .

Germany, first market, Italy, the one that grows the most

In this way, Germany remains the first market, with 1,174 million, 18.8% of the total, with the same figures as in January-April 2023. France follows, with 741 million (11.9%) and a rise of 10.7%; and Italy, with 549 million, 8.8% and an increase of 55%, the largest in the  Top10 , compared to the first quarter of 2023.

The fourth destination is the United Kingdom, with 516 million, 8.3% of the total and progress of 11.9%; followed by Portugal, with 507 million (8.1%) and growth of 20.8%; and the Netherlands, with 495 million (7.9%) and a decrease of 2.8%. In eighth place, after the United States (7th), is Poland with 158 million euros (2.5% of the total) and a decrease of 9.1%; followed by Belgium, with 133 million euros and a decrease of 13.3% (2.1%); and Switzerland, with 103 million (1.7%), which grows 8% compared to January-April 2023.

Almería leads, Jaén, the one that grows the most

According to the data collected, seven of the eight provinces of the community have seen double-digit percentages of international sales of their food and beverages increase; and five of them have done so with record numbers (Seville, Málaga, Granada, Huelva and Córdoba). 

The province of Jaén, with 138 million, becomes the one that has recorded the greatest growth in the first four months of 2024, with an increase of 93% due to the increase in sales of olive oil, which have more than doubled up to 116 million euros (+132%), and which represent 84% of sales in the agricultural sector in the province. 

The province second in growth, 41%, and second in export turnover is Seville, with 1,463 million euros, 23.5% of the Andalusian total. It is also driven by olive oil (802 million) which rises 79%. With these data, Seville becomes the province that contributes the most to the growth of food and beverage sales in Andalusia with 7.8% of the total.

Even so, the leading province in sales is Almería, with 1,782 million and 28.6% of the total, despite a drop of 9.5%. In third position is Huelva, with 998 million and 16% and an increase of 11.6%, driven by the historical record sales of red fruits (798 million and +9.3%). Malaga is next, with 624 million (10%) and a growth of 25.9%, which is also boosted by olive oil (247 million) which grows 67%, to become its first exported food; above avocados, which also grow by 15.5% (133 million).

Olive oil also leads and stimulates agri-food sales in Córdoba, which is the fifth largest exporter of Andalusian agriculture, with 489 million (7.8% of the total) and an increase of 37%, the third best provincial growth. Specifically, Córdoba oil generated 299 million euros and grew by 70% in this first quarter of 2024. In sixth place is Granada, with 401 million (6.4%) and an increase of 12.1%, also with great growth of olive oil (+84%) from second place with 102 million, after vegetable sales (157 million). 

Cádiz reached 338 million in sales, with a growth of 23.2%, driven by olive oil, which multiplied its sales by 14, up to 33 million; cereals that multiply by 15, up to 24.5 million; and also in beverages, whose sales grew by 20.8% to 69 million. 

These data derive from the figures of the Foreign Trade Statistics of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism prepared for Andalusia by the  Observatory for the Internationalization of the Andalusian Economy  of Andalusia TRADE.


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