`Steep Fall in Spanish Olive Oil Exports to U.K. Since Brexit - Olive Oil Times

Steep Fall in Spanish Olive Oil Exports to U.K. Since Brexit

May. 10, 2021
David Uwakwe

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Spanish olive oil exports to the United Kingdom fell by 35 per­cent in the first two months of the year com­pared to the same period in 2020, accord­ing to Spain’s Union of Farmers and Livestock Unions.

The fig­ures rep­re­sent the first analy­sis of the impact of the post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and London on Spanish agri-food exports to the U.K. The Union of Farmers and Livestock Unions warned that fur­ther sharp decreases in exports can be expected due to san­i­tary and phy­tosan­i­tary require­ments that came into effect in April.

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The Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which was fully rat­i­fied in April but has been pro­vi­sion­ally oper­a­tional since January, is the result of years of nego­ti­a­tions aimed at main­tain­ing tar­iff and quota-free trade in the wake of Brexit.

While the agree­ment may avoid the impo­si­tion of tar­iffs, it has greatly increased the amount of paper­work required to trade with the U.K. as a non‑E.U. mem­ber.

According to fig­ures released by the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics in March, imports from the E.U. fell by 28 per­cent in the first two months of the year as addi­tional checks and bureau­cratic hur­dles impeded the free flow of prod­ucts.


Total Spanish agri-food exports fell by 4.9 per­cent dur­ing the period, with sales of fats and oils being hit par­tic­u­larly hard, includ­ing the 35-per­cent drop in olive oil ship­ments.

According to the Union of Farmers and Livestock Unions, which is call­ing on the Spanish gov­ern­ment to assist exporters, a new require­ment for phy­tosan­i­tary cer­tifi­cates and bor­der checks will fur­ther slow down ship­ments and add to the cost and bureau­cracy of post-Brexit trad­ing.

In the opin­ion of the Union of Unions, the state diplo­matic ser­vices should act to reestab­lish and con­sol­i­date these com­mer­cial flows, encour­ag­ing the pur­chase of Spanish prod­ucts by British cit­i­zens and com­pa­nies,” the group said.

The U.K. imported about €137 mil­lion worth of Spanish olive oil in 2020, mak­ing it Spain’s fifth-largest export mar­ket.

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