After the US, Germany comes second as an importer of fresh fruit and vegetables. Last year, Germany imported 8.9 million tonnes with a value of 10.5 billion euro. A record amount, both in quantity and in value.

The Netherlands is Germany’s second largest supplier after Spain. The total flow of trade of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Netherlands to Germany has a size of more than 2.5 million tonnes. Of this, an estimated one million tonnes is product grown in the Netherlands. Bananas are the most important import product in Germany. For some years, 300,000 tonnes of bananas are imported by Germany via the Netherlands annually. Tomatoes are in second place. Last year, this concerned more than 700,000 tonnes, 440,000 tonnes of which arrived via the Netherlands. Of that, between 350,000 and 400,000 tonnes were of Dutch origin.

It’s noticeable that more and more vegetables have been grown in Germany in recent years. Last year, this was 4 million tonnes. Both the production of outdoor vegetables (3.8 million tonnes) and greenhouse vegetables (180,000 tonnes) experienced record sizes in 2017. The German fruit harvest was exceptionally small last year, because of extreme weather circumstances. However, more fresh fruit was imported last year than ever before.

Fruit harvest suffers from bad weather
The own German production of vegetables is larger than import, 4.0 and 3.2 million tonnes respectively. Germany exports fresh vegetables as well. Last year, they exported 385,000 tonnes, which was less than the year before. In 2013, the German vegetable export was the largest, 470,000 tonnes. With 90,000 tonnes, onions were the largest export product in 2017. Headed cabbage came second with nearly 60,000 tonnes. The Netherlands is the most important buyer, with roughly 70,000 tonnes last year. Neighbours Austria and the Czech Republic come second and third.

For fresh fruit, import is much larger than the own German production. Last year, import increased to a record of 5.64 million tonnes. The German fruit production was 850,000 tonnes in 2017, the smallest amount in recent years. This was mostly because the apple harvest suffered much from bad weather in spring. For years, Germany has exported between 700 and 800,000 tonnes of fresh fruit. About half of this concerns the re-export of bananas. Apple is their second product, but export of this product remains below the limit of 100,000 tonnes. Neighbouring countries the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Austria are the most important buyers. –