HomeNewsEgypt’s frozen produce exports to EU skyrocket. Strawberries and artichokes lead the way
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Egypt’s frozen produce exports to EU skyrocket. Strawberries and artichokes lead the way

According to EastFruit, Egypt has become the top exporter of frozen vegetables, fruits and berries to the EU market in 2022, surpassing its competitors in both quantity and quality. Egypt has also achieved a remarkable feat of exporting more frozen products to the EU from January to September 2023 than in the whole of 2022, making it one of only two countries to do so.

 

Strawberries remain the key category of Egyptian frozen produce exports to the EU, annually providing from 75% to 80% of all supplies in the volume terms. In 2018-2022, EU countries more than doubled their imports of frozen strawberries from Egypt. Similar growth rates were observed in the other segments of frozen fruits and vegetables. In addition to strawberries, Egypt delivers frozen artichokes, green beans, various other vegetables, and vegetable mixes to EU countries.

 

It is worth noting that Egypt keeps the primacy in the two main segments of its exports to the EU. Thus, Egypt remains the leading exporter of frozen strawberries to the EU market since 2019, while before that the status of the leader had belonged to Morocco. Since then, exports of Moroccan frozen strawberries have remained stagnant at around 56-64 thousand tons, while Egypt on average boosted supplies annually by 21%.

 

In the ranking of exporters of frozen artichokes to the EU, the advantage of Egypt remains even more overwhelming. Egyptian suppliers provide about 90% of all imports of frozen artichokes in EU countries (excluding EU intra-trade). For comparison, in 2022, the EU imported 20 thousand tons of frozen artichokes from Egypt, while exports from Peru (second-largest supplier) totaled only 1.6 thousand tons.

 

It is also noteworthy that Egypt topped the ranking of frozen fruit, berry and vegetable exporters to the EU last year, and it seems that the country will keep its lead this year. From January to September 2023, Egypt shipped more than 160 thousand tons of frozen produce to the EU, which is already more than the whole of 2022. This is a record that only China can rival among the major exporting countries, apart from Egypt.

 

Read also: Egypt’s frozen veg exports to US down after threefold rise in 2022 amid devaluation, food inflation and weather issues

 

By the way, China was the third largest supplier of frozen produce to EU countries last year (excl. the internal trade within the European Union). The main categories of Chinese exports are frozen vegetables (mushrooms, sweet peppers, asparagus, etc.), and various exotic fruits. However, exports of frozen strawberries from China to the EU in 2018-2022 plummeted more than tenfold, even though China was the fourth largest exporter of them after Morocco, Egypt, and Turkey in 2018.

 

The second place in the ranking still belongs to Serbia, but its frozen produce exports to the EU have been dropping steadily since 2019. Moreover, for January-September 2023, exports from China have almost caught up with Serbia’s! The main category of Serbian exports to the EU is frozen raspberries, which declined by a third in 2018-2022 due to the increased competition from other suppliers. For instance, exporters of frozen raspberries from Ukraine more than tripled their shipments in all directions over the last five seasons, pushing out not only competitors from Serbia, but also frozen berry market players in other countries.

 

In fact, Ukraine was the fifth largest supplier of frozen vegetables and fruits to the EU in 2022, and frozen raspberries accounted for almost half of its export volumes. Other categories of Ukrainian supplies included frozen blueberries, strawberries, other berries, and mushrooms.

 

Morocco was also among the top five exporters of frozen fruits, berries, and vegetables to the EU. Moroccan exporters mainly supplied frozen strawberries to the EU, but they saw the highest growth rates in the segment of frozen raspberries in 2018-2022. During this period, the volume of Moroccan supplies increased almost 11-fold, further intensifying competition in the EU market

 

Other relatively large suppliers were Turkey, the UK, Peru, Canada, and Vietnam. Turkey’s exports to the EU consisted mainly of vegetable categories (frozen tomatoes, sweet peppers, spinach, etc.), as well as strawberries. Turkey also maintained its lead in supplying frozen sweet cherries to the EU market, providing about two-thirds of the imports from outside the EU.

 

In turn, the UK was the leading supplier of frozen peas to EU countries, and also exported green beans and some other vegetables. Peru, besides frozen artichokes, supplied other vegetable categories (such as asparagus), and various fruits in frozen form (mango, grapes, etc.). Canada had a strong position in the market of imported blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries, and other wild berries, and Vietnam specialized in the EU market for frozen exotic fruits.

EastFruit

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