China was the biggest exporter of organic agri-food products to the EU during 2019, followed by Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Ukraine and Turkey, according to new analysis released by the European Commission.
Colombia and Kazakhstan entered the top ten suppliers for the first time.
The Netherlands was the single biggest importer of organic imports into the EU (32%). Other important importing EU Member States of organic products include Germany (13 %), the UK (12 %) and Belgium (11 %). Organic imports in Member States which joined the EU after 2004 remain minor at slightly above 3 %.
The ten most imported product categories represented 82 % of total organic import volumes in 2019. First came tropical fruit, nuts and spices with 27% (0.9 million tonnes), followed by oilcakes (mainly for animal feed) with 12 % (0.4 million t), followed by cereals other than wheat and rice and by beet and cane sugar (both 7 %, 0.2 million t).
Overall, organic import levels remained stable in 2019, amounting to
3.24 million t of organic agri-food products. Commodities represented 54% of 2019 imports, a slight decrease compared to the previous year. The share of imports of other primary products increased to 38 %.
For some of the products categories surveyed, organic imports represent a significant share of total imports. Of olive oil imports in the EU, for example, almost 20 % are estimated to be organic. For the other product categories, organic imports represent up to a maximum of 10 % of total imports, and for the large majority less than 5 %. Overall, organic agri-food imports are estimated to represent about 2 % of total volume of agri-food imports.