Overview

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-food 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.

Related information

Notice to stakeholders: Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Food Law

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.

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Earlier editions in the series are located in the archive.

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.

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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.

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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.

Earlier editions are located in the archive.

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Trade statistics

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.

Studies

Studies are regularly produced by the European Commission and its partners, assessing the potential impact of international trade agreements on agriculture.

The impact of concluded trade agreements on the agricultural sector (2017)

The study, carried out on behalf of the Commission by the independent consultancy Copenhagen Economics, analyses the impact on agri-food trade of the agreements concluded by the EU with three countries: Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland. It shows that trade agreements have helped to boost EU agricultural exports and have supported jobs in the agri-food sector and other sectors of the economy. The conclusions, recommendations and opinions presented in this report reflect the opinion of the consultant and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission.

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Economic study on the cumulative effects of trade agreements on the EU agricultural sector (2016)

A report by the European Commission (Joint Research Centre working together with the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development) on the potential impact of a number of trade negotiations on the EU agricultural sector, based on models simulating reciprocal liberalisation of import tariffs between the EU and the relevant trading partners.

Press Release

Executive summary

Full report

More information

Studies on the effects of a potential Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Mercosur

  • European Commission, Joint Research Centre / Institute for Prospective Technological Studies:

"Potential EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement: Impact Assessment" (2011)

  • European Commission, Department for Agriculture and Rural Development:

"Impact assessment of a possible free trade agreement (FTA) between the EU and Mercosur: a microeconomic approach based on Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data" (2011)

  • European Commission, Department for Trade:

"Assessment of barriers to trade and investment between the EU and Mercosur" (2011)

"Trade sustainability impact assessment (SIA) of the Association Agreement under negotiation between the European Community and Mercosur" (2009)

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