Spain dethroned. Who exports the most tomatoes to the European Union?

Luc Williams

Spain, which has been the leader in tomato exports to European Union countries for years, was dethroned in the first quarter of 2024 by Morocco. According to statistics, between January and March 2024, Morocco sold 34 million tonnes of tomatoes more to the EU than Spain.

Is the Green Deal to blame for all this?

In the first quarter of 2024, Morocco exported 210.2 million tons of tomatoes to EU countries, i.e. 7%. more compared to a similar period in 2023. It also reduced the price per 1 kg from EUR 1.83 to EUR 1.73. At the same time, Spanish exports of tomatoes to EU countries decreased to 176.5 million tonnes, i.e. by almost 23%. compared to the first quarter of 2023. Their price per kilogram also decreased – from EUR 2.14 to EUR 1.77.

The Alerta daily, citing data from the Spanish ministry, noted on Monday that one of the reasons for Spain's dethronement was the modernization of the Moroccan port in the city of Tarfaya, which improved the shipment of Moroccan agricultural produce to the EU. The newspaper pointed out the paradox that Morocco has overtaken Spain in tomato exports thanks to the investment of aid funds provided by the Spanish government of Pedro Sanchez and the European Commission.

According to the Spanish newspaper, in the coming years, with the implementation of the Green Deal policy by the European Commission, we should expect further difficulties for European agricultural exporters and, at the same time, successes for farmers supplying goods from outside the EU. “As part of the Green Deal, the EU authorities are implementing policies (…) that increase the costs of tomato production in Europe, favoring countries such as Morocco and Turkey,” wrote the Cantabria-based daily.

The media reminds that lasting between February and April this year. Spanish farmers' protests focused on the Green Deal policy, which, through a number of provisions, is intended to enable the EU to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. These changes include, among others: on reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Among the demands often put forward by Spanish farmers were the demands for support for domestic producers by the Sanchez government in the face of increasing exports of Moroccan goods. During roadblocks, Spanish farmers repeatedly attacked trucks transporting Moroccan vegetables and fruit, throwing their contents onto the road.

Marcin Zatyka


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