Spain 2012 Farm Exports Rose 9.1% on Pork, Tomatoes, Vegetables

Spain’s agricultural exports rose 9.1 percent last year, boosted by increased shipments of goods ranging from pork to canned vegetables and contributing a surplus to the country’s trade balance.

Exports climbed to 35.7 billion euros ($46.4 billion) from 32.8 billion euros in 2011, the Agriculture Ministry wrote in an e-mailed report today.

Spain was Europe’s fourth-largest farm exporter in 2011, behind the Netherlands, Germany and France, according to World Trade Organization data.

The country’s imports of agricultural goods rose to 29.5 billion euros from 29.2 billion euros, helping Spain lift its farm-trade surplus to 6.27 billion euros last year from 3.59 billion euros in 2011, the ministry data showed.

Spain’s 2012 exports of pork climbed to 2.67 billion euros from 2.27 billion euros on sales to France, Italy, Russia and China, the ministry said. The country is the European Union’s second-largest producer of pig meat behind Germany.

Imports of soybeans and products, used as livestock feed, increased to 2.2 billion euros from 1.92 billion euros, with Brazil the main supplier, followed by Argentina, according to the report.

Exports of fresh, frozen and dried tomatoes advanced to 953 million euros from 898 million euros a year earlier, as increased sales to Germany more than made up for a drop in U.K. buying. Shipments of canned vegetables rose to 1.61 billion euros from 1.54 billion euros, the trade data show.

Olive-oil exports by Spain, the biggest supplier of the cooking oil, were little changed at 1.85 billion euros from 1.86 billion euros a year earlier as rising deliveries to Portugal and China helped compensate for a slump in Italian buying, the ministry said.

Exports of edible fruits climbed to 6.27 billion euros from 5.65 billion euros in 2011. Grain imports rose to 2.97 billion euros from 2.47 billion euros, the ministry said.

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