Germany’s Reliance on Spanish Fruit and Vegetable Imports in 2022

Germany’s import of fruits and vegetables from Spain reached a significant 26% of the total in 2022, according to data released by the Statistical Office (Destatis). The country imported around 1.6 million tonnes of fruit and 1.3 million tonnes of vegetables from Spain last year, making it the top supplier.

Spain’s reputation as the “vegetable garden of Europe,” particularly the Andalusia region, has made it a significant provider of fresh produce to Germany. In total, Germany imported over 6.2 million tonnes of fruit and almost 4.9 million tonnes of vegetables in 2022.

Following Spain, the Netherlands was the second-largest supplier, contributing 16% of Germany’s fruit and vegetable imports (0.3 million tonnes of fruit and 1.5 million tonnes of vegetables). Italy came in third with approximately 9% of the imports (0.7 million tonnes of fruit and 0.3 million tonnes of vegetables).

The trade surplus for imported fruits was significantly higher than for vegetables, mainly due to certain fruits not being suitable for cultivation in Germany’s climate. For example, Germany imported 5.4 million tonnes more fruit than it exported (0.8 million tonnes).

Spain dominated the imports of several fruits and vegetables in 2022. Approximately 79% of all imported oranges came from Spain, along with 52% of watermelons and melons, 43% of cucumbers, 50% of paprika, 50% of salads, and 46% of onions.

However, the ratio of imports to domestic production varies between different types of fruits and vegetables. For instance, Germany heavily relies on imports for paprika, with only around 16,900 tonnes being domestically harvested, compared to 403,600 tonnes imported. On the other hand, Germany produces more onions domestically (578,200 tonnes) than it imports (207,200 tonnes).

Apart from Spain, Italy was a significant supplier of speiseäpfel (eating apples) to Germany, accounting for about 40% of all imported speiseäpfel.

Germany’s local agriculture also contributed to the fruit and vegetable supply, with a total of 3.8 million tonnes of vegetables and 1.4 million tonnes of fruit, including strawberries and berries, being harvested in 2022. Apples were the most abundant fruit, accounting for 77% of the domestic fruit harvest.

Despite the challenges posed by extreme weather conditions in certain European regions, Germany’s import of fresh produce from Spain and other countries ensures a steady supply of fruits and vegetables for consumers.