The international dimension is part and parcel of the common agricultural policy (CAP), as maintaining a healthy balance of imports and exports is key to safeguarding internal market stability.
In order to ensure the delivery of the CAP objectives, the European Commission collects statistics and produces analyses of agricultural trade and international agri-food policy developments.
The most up to date information is published monthly in “Monitoring EU agri-food trade”, while a more in-depth examination of how the EU agri-food trade flows have changed in the past year is provided in the annual “Monitoring agri-trade policy” report.
Both publications examine trends and developments in agri-food trade with reference to the key players and products. These publications are complimented by factsheets, compiled to present a detailed picture of the EU’s agri-food trading relationships and illustrate significant developments in the international agri-food market.
The European Commission and its partners also produce various studies and analytical papers on trade policies affecting agriculture.
Overall, the range of statistics and analyses demonstrate that the EU offers a diverse array of competitive products at all levels of the agricultural value chain and plays a central role in international agri-trade.
Monitoring EU agri-food trade
"Monitoring EU agri-food trade" provides the most up-to-date information on EU agri-food trade. The series highlights the latest statistics relating to trading relationships and product categories, identifying notable developments and emerging trends.
Monitoring agri-trade policy
Monitoring agri-trade policy (MAP) is an annual publication that provides an in-depth analysis of the dominant issues concerning agri-food policy and agricultural trade in general. The series contains a detailed overview of the international agri-food trade environment, with a focus on key products and partners.
In 2018, the EU agri-food trade reached a value of €254 billion - €138 billion of exports and €116 billion of imports, confirming for another year the EU’s position as the largest global exporter and second largest importer of agri-food products. Agriculture products accounted for a solid share of 7% of the value of EU total goods exported in 2018, further contributing to job creation and growth in the European agri-food sector.
In 2017, the EU kept the lead in global trade of agri-food products, with €138 billion worth of exports and €117 billion of imports. The significance of the agri-food sector is also highlighted in the report, representing 7.5% of EU employment.
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The European Commission produces a series of country and region based factsheets to provide a comprehensive overview of EU agri-food trade across the world.
The factsheets create a picture of the EU’s agri-food trading relationship with the respective countries and regions by focusing on key agricultural and trade indicators, outlining the balance of exports and imports, and providing a breakdown of trade by product categories.
The European Commission and its partners regularly undertake studies to assess the impact of international trade agreements on agriculture. For each trade agreement, the Commission runs impact assessments before the launch of negotiations and sustainability impact assessments during their conduct. The Commission also undertakes cumulative impact studies to analyse the combined impact of the various agreements that are in the process of being signed or negotiated.