By Susan Reidy
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — E.U. agri-food exports are maintaining their forward momentum, breaking records in May with a total of €12.8 billion, 13% higher than the same time period a year earlier.
Imports also increased to €10.7 billion, up 6% from May 2018, according to the latest monthly trade report from the European Commission.
As a result, the monthly agri-food trade surplus stood at €2.1 billion up from €1.3 billion in May 2018.
For May 2019, wheat exports totaled €347 million, up 8.4% from last May. Over the last 12 months, wheat exports have totaled €4.4 billion, up 20% from the same time period a year earlier.
Cereals, other than wheat and rice, were up 18.5% for the month to €118 million. Soybeans were down 50% for the month, and for the last 12 months are down 49% to €61 million.
For the last 12 months, the main exports destinations were the U.S. at €23 million; China at €12 billion; Switzerland at €8.4 billion; Japan at €7 billion; and Russia at €6.9 billion.
Imports also continued on the upward trend, and in terms of product categories, the highest increases in import values over the last months were seen in coarse grains up 38%; oilcakes up 12% and soybeans up 9%.
Imports rose significantly from the Ukraine (up by €173 million), China (rising €103 million), the U.S. (an increase of €67 million) and Argentina (up by €59 million).