`Europe’s Agricultural Production Fell Slightly in 2020 - Olive Oil Times

Europe’s Agricultural Production Fell Slightly in 2020

Nov. 29, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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The lat­est data pub­lished by Eurostat show that Europe’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor con­tributed 1.3 per­cent of the 27-mem­ber bloc’s over­all gross domes­tic prod­uct (GDP) in 2020.

Furthermore, the E.U.’s offi­cial sta­tis­tics agency esti­mated gross value added to the agri­cul­tural sec­tor, the dif­fer­ence between the value of pro­duc­tion and pro­duc­tion costs, was €178.4 bil­lion.

The over­all num­ber of agri­cul­tural work­ers shrank by 2.9 per­cent, slightly more than the aver­age annual decrease of 2.5 per­cent reported from 2005 to 2019.

See Also:European Olive Oil Exports Expected to Recover as Costs Rise

One way of look­ing at this is that for every €1 spent on the cost of goods and ser­vices used in the pro­duc­tion process (known as inter­me­di­ate con­sump­tion), the E.U.’s agri­cul­tural indus­try cre­ated added value of €0.76,” Eurostat wrote. Whilst this rel­a­tive value-added in 2020 was lower than the €0.79 in 2017, it was still higher than most other years since 2007.”

Adding crops, ani­mals and agri­cul­tural ser­vices to sev­eral other goods and ser­vices, Eurostat esti­mated that in 2020 the 27-mem­ber bloc’s agri­cul­tural sec­tors pro­duced €414.1 bil­lion in total value, down by 1.1 per­cent com­pared to 2019.


Of that sum, €219.5 bil­lion came from crops, while €159 bil­lion came from ani­mals and ani­mal prod­ucts. Agricultural ser­vices accounted for €20.3 bil­lion, with the rest related to non-agri­cul­tural activ­i­ties that Eurostat could not mea­sure sep­a­rately.

Eurostat explained that the 1.1‑percent decrease rep­re­sents a slight fall back from the peak reg­is­tered in 2019, which itself was the cul­mi­na­tion of an upward trend that had started in 2009.”

This change in nom­i­nal value reflected slight falls in both the nom­i­nal price for agri­cul­tural goods and ser­vices as a whole (an esti­mated –1.0 per­cent) as well as in the vol­ume of out­put (an esti­mated –0.2 per­cent),” Eurostat added.

The coun­tries where the dip in out­put value was most sig­nif­i­cant were Romania ( – 11.3 per­cent), the Netherlands ( – 3.1 per­cent), Italy ( – 2.3 per­cent), France ( – 1.9 per­cent) and Germany ( – 1.6 per­cent).

On the other hand, Spain (+1.1 per­cent) and Poland (+1.9 per­cent) were among the lead­ing con­trib­u­tors that saw their over­all out­put value grow, with the sharpest rise being reported in Lithuania (+8.6 per­cent).

Eurostat’s 2020 data also con­firmed the sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in agri­cul­tural vol­umes and yields through­out the E.U., with four coun­tries account­ing for most of the total out­put val­ues.

Fifty-nine per­cent of that came from France (€76.3 bil­lion), Germany (€57.6 bil­lion), Italy (€56.9 bil­lion) and Spain (€52.3 bil­lion). Adding in the out­put value from the Netherlands, Poland and Romania, Eurostat esti­mated that 76 per­cent of the total value of the E.U. agri­cul­tural sec­tor came from those seven mem­ber states.

Looking at the €235.8 bil­lion of costs faced by farm­ers, 51 per­cent came from feed­ing ani­mals and vet­eri­nary ser­vices while 11.1 per­cent came from her­bi­cides, pes­ti­cides, insec­ti­cides, fer­til­iz­ers and soil improvers.

See Also:€100B in E.U. Spending Fails to Reduce Emissions in Ag Sector, Audit Finds

The cost of the inter­me­di­ate goods and ser­vices used by the agri­cul­tural indus­try in 2020 was slightly lower than a year ear­lier (an esti­mated –1.1 per­cent),” Eurostat wrote. The rate of decline was the same as that of the value of agri­cul­tural out­put (an esti­mated –1.1 per­cent), result­ing in a slight rate of decline ( – 1.3 per­cent) in the gross value added gen­er­ated by the agri­cul­tural indus­try.”

In many agri­cul­tural sec­tors, includ­ing the olive oil sec­tor, only a small per­cent­age of labor came from salaried work­ers, given the role that vol­un­tary fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties take on dur­ing the most labor-inten­sive weeks of the year.

Eurostat data show that in 2020, 6.2 mil­lion work­ers were non-salaried com­pared with the 2.3 mil­lion who were full-time salaried work­ers.

As noted above, total agri­cul­tural labor input declined sharply in almost all mem­ber states from 2005 to 2020, with the sharpest decline hit­ting most Eastern European coun­tries.

This con­trac­tion in the agri­cul­tural labor force reflected both push and pull fac­tors,” Eurostat wrote. There have been great strides in mech­a­niza­tion and effi­ciency on the one hand and, on the other, a wider choice of attrac­tive job oppor­tu­ni­ties in other sec­tors of the econ­omy.”

Income for agri­cul­tural labor also dropped 0.8 per­cent in 2020, com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year. While a few mem­ber states recorded a steep rise in avail­able income for work­ers in the field, major agri­cul­tural coun­tries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, Italy and France saw sig­nif­i­cant rates of decline.

As a result, Eurostat said the avail­able income rose 31.5 per­cent com­pared to 2010 lev­els.

Eurostat also com­piled the risk from the pes­ti­cide index, which relates to the vol­ume of pes­ti­cides sold through­out the E.U., warn­ing that the types of active sub­stances change over time and sale vol­umes can­not effi­ciently esti­mate the con­nected poten­tial haz­ard.

However, the index, har­mo­nized risk indi­ca­tor 1,” shows a declin­ing risk from pes­ti­cides in most of the European Union.

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