"4.3 percent growth in value against the previous year (2012) is a remarkable result, especially in a difficult foreign trade environment," said Peter Bleser, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Hence as in the two previous years, agricultural exports boasted a more favourable trend than total exports. According to current - albeit still provisional - figures released by the Federal Statistical Office, exports of goods from the agri-food sector amounted to €62.7 billion. Including additions and estimations, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) expects the overall annual result to be roughly €66 billion.
The key to the positive trend is the rise in the export values of milk and dairy products (plus 13.3 percent to €9.3 billion). For the most part, this is attributable to higher export prices. Only in the case of butter was a significantly higher tonnage exported. Cheese exports reached a value of €3.8 billion, a 9.8 per cent increase. The trend in meat and meat products was very restrained (plus 0.3 percent to a stable €9.0 billion), with only a slight increase in export prices. Whilst there was an increase in the value and volume of pigmeat exports, beef exports declined. Exports of poultrymeat remained almost constant.
In agricultural trade, the biggest share is made up by the movement of goods within the European Union, accounting for 76 percent of exports and 69 percent of imports. In trade with EU partners, exports rose by 5.1 percent to €47.4 billion. Trends varied greatly depending on the country of destination. Thus consignments to the Baltic states and to Bulgaria and Romania had mostly two-digit growth rates. On the other hand, shipments to Spain and Portugal declined.
Growth was significantly lower in trade with third countries. Exports of agricultural goods to non-EU countries totalled €15.3 billion, marking an increase of 2.1 percent over the previous year. Greater growth was hindered most of all by difficulties in exports to Russia, which - due to an import ban for specific dairy and meat products - fell by 14 percent to €1.60 billion. The growth that was reached in trade with third countries in spite of this can also be attributed to the high level of regional diversification of German agricultural exports. Switzerland, Russia and the U.S.A., followed by Saudi Arabia (plus 46 percent to €1,10 billion) and the People's Republic of China (plus 37 percent to €913 million) are by far the biggest third-country markets. The export values of these countries boast consistently high growth rates.
Thursday March 6, 2014/ Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture/ Germany.