In 2018, the value of global trade in agri-food products amounted to $3.1 trillion, which means that food and agricultural products – usually produced in rural areas – accounted for only 8 percent of world trade in goods, results from the analysis of the Polish Economic Institute (PIE).
The European Union is currently the largest global exporter of agri-food products. In 2018, food exports of EU countries (both inside and outside the EU) reached the value of nearly USD 580 billion, which was 37 percent of world food exports.
The largest EU food suppliers to the global market were the Netherlands ($101 billion), Germany ($88 billion) and France ($73 billion). Poland – with exports worth $34.7 billion – took a high, seventh position in the EU and 13th in the world.
As PIE analysts indicate, the comparison of absolute values does not reflect the importance of the agri-food sector for the economy of individual countries. A better picture is given by comparing the share of agri-food products in exports or the value of food exports per capita.
And so, the largest share of agri-food products in exports was characteristic of mainly developing countries, especially South America and some African countries. In the European Union, a relatively high share of food in exports was recorded by countries with intensive agriculture like Denmark (19 percent) or the Netherlands (18 percent). In Poland, this share was at the level of 13.3 percent.
In turn, in terms of the value of food exports per capita, the leaders were developed countries, including the Netherlands ($5,880 per capita), New Zealand ($5,055) and Belgium ($4,124). In Poland, the value of food exports per capita amounted to $914 and was lower than in Spain, France and Germany, but higher than in Italy and Great Britain.