A report published today (Thursday, December 21) by the European Commission shows that after a stable summer, the EU agri-food trade surplus increased by 18% in September compared to both August 2023 and September 2022.

Agri-food trade reached €6.7 billion in September 2023, according to the new report.

The trade balance from January to September 2023 reached €51 billion, which is €8.5 billion higher compared to the same period in 2022.

EU exports increased by 5% month-on-month at €19 billion in September 2023. This remains 9% lower than in September 2022.

Exports since January reached €170.7 billion, 2% higher compared to the same period in 2022. The main increases were for cereal preparations and preparations of fruit and nuts.

EU agri-food exports to the UK increased significantly compared to 2022, with a growth of €3 billion, up 8%.

This is due to an export increase of pig meat, cereal preparations and milling products, preparations of fruit and nuts, confectionery and chocolate, according to the report.

The largest reduction in EU exports was recorded for the US, with a decrease of €1.9 billion, down 8%.

This is due to a reduction in exports of spirits and liqueurs, along with wine and wine-based products.

EU imports decreased by 2% month on month in September. They reached €12.3 billion, 19% below their level of September 2022.

Cumulative imports from January to September 2023 reached €119.7 billion, 5% below their 2022 level, with reductions in imports of oilseeds and protein crops as well as vegetable oils.

Imports from Ukraine saw the largest increase from January to September compared to 2022, up 11% at €891 million. This was mostly due to higher cereal imports.

However, EU imports from Ukraine are below their 2022 level since June and were nearly back at their 2021 level in September.