Largest Food Exporters, Top 10 Food Exporters

Largest Food Exporters, Top 10 Food Exporters

10 Largest Food Exporters in the World

Are you curious about which countries export the most food in the world? Food is one of the most essential commodities for human survival, and trade plays a vital role in ensuring food security and enhancing livelihoods. In this article, we will look at the top 10 largest food exporters in the world, based on the value of their food exports in 2020.


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The United States of America

The United States of America was the largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 124 billion, accounting for 10 percent of the total food exports. The main food products exported by the US are maize, soybeans, milk, wheat, sugar, and chicken. The US exports food to many countries, such as Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and Germany.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands was the second-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 79 billion, accounting for 6 percent of the total food exports. The Netherlands is known for its high-quality and innovative agricultural sector, which produces a variety of food products, such as cheese, flowers, vegetables, meat, and dairy products. The Netherlands exports food mainly to other European countries, especially Germany, France, Belgium, and the UK.

Brazil

Brazil was the third-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 73 billion, accounting for 6 percent of the total food exports. Brazil is a major producer and exporter of tropical and subtropical crops, such as coffee, sugar cane, soybeans, oranges, and bananas. Brazil also exports meat, poultry, and ethanol. Brazil’s main food export destinations are China, the US, the EU, and Japan.

Germany

Germany was the fourth-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 66 billion, accounting for 5 percent of the total food exports. Germany has a diversified and competitive agricultural sector that produces a range of food products, such as sugar beets, milk, wheat, potatoes, and beer. Germany exports food mainly to other European countries, especially France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Poland.

China

China was the fifth-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 64 billion, accounting for 5 percent of the total food exports. China is a huge and diverse country that grows and consumes a large variety of food products. Some of the main food products exported by China are rice, maize, fresh vegetables, wheat,
and tea. China exports food mainly to Asia-Pacific countries, such as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.

France

France was the sixth-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 59 billion, accounting for 5 percent of the total food exports. France is famous for its gastronomy and culinary traditions, which reflect its rich and diverse agricultural sector. Some of the main food products exported by France are wine, cheese, wheat, meat, and dairy products. France exports food mainly to other European countries, especially Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Spain.

Canada

Canada was the seventh-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 56 billion, accounting for 4 percent of the total food exports. Canada has a vast and fertile land area that allows it to produce and export a variety of food products, such as wheat, canola, pork, beef, and maple syrup. Canada exports food mainly to the US, China, Japan, and Mexico.

Spain

Spain was the eighth-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 50 billion, accounting for 4 percent of the total food exports. Spain has a Mediterranean climate that favors the cultivation and export of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and wine. Spain also exports meat, fish, and dairy products. Spain exports food mainly to other European countries, especially France, Germany, Italy, and Portugal.

Italy

Italy was the ninth-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 48 billion, accounting for 4 percent of the total food exports. Italy is renowned for its cuisine and culture that are closely linked to its agricultural sector. Some of the main food products exported by Italy are pasta, cheese, wine, tomatoes, and olive oil. Italy exports food mainly to other European countries, especially Germany, France, the UK, and Spain.

Belgium

Belgium was the tenth-largest food exporter in the world in 2020, with a value of USD 45 billion, accounting for 4 percent of the total food exports. Belgium has a small but efficient and diverse agricultural sector that produces and exports a range of food products, such as chocolate, beer, potatoes, sugar, and meat. Belgium exports food mainly to other European countries, especially France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Global Trends in Food Exports

Food is one of the most traded commodities in the world, with a total value of $1.5 trillion in 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The demand for food is influenced by various factors, such as population growth, income levels, dietary preferences, climate change, and trade policies. In this blog post, we will look at some of the largest food exporters in the world and how their exports have changed over time.


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The United States: A Food Giant

The United States was the largest exporter of food (excluding fish) in 2020, with a value of $124 billion, accounting for 10 percent of the global total. The main food products exported by the US are maize, soybeans, milk, wheat, and sugar. The US has a competitive advantage in producing these crops due to its large land area, advanced technology, and efficient infrastructure. The US also benefits from its proximity and trade agreements with some of the major food importers, such as Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and Germany.

The US food exports have increased by 2.7 times in nominal terms since 2000, when they were valued at $46 billion. However, the share of food in the total agricultural exports has declined from 88 percent in 2000 to 81 percent in 2020, as non-food products such as cotton, tobacco, and animal hides have grown faster. The US food exports have also faced some challenges in recent years due to trade disputes, tariffs, and sanitary restrictions imposed by some of its trading partners.

The Netherlands: A Food Hub

The Netherlands was the second-largest exporter of food (excluding fish) in 2020, with a value of $79 billion, representing 6 percent of the global total. The main food products exported by the Netherlands are fruit and vegetables, dairy products, meat and meat preparations, and cereals and preparations. The Netherlands is a small country with limited natural resources, but it has developed a highly efficient and innovative agri-food sector that relies on greenhouse technology, irrigation systems, biotechnology, and logistics.

The Netherlands is also a major hub for re-exporting food products that originate from other countries, especially from within the European Union (EU). The Netherlands has a strategic location and well-developed infrastructure that enable it to transport food products to other markets quickly and cheaply. The Netherlands also has strong trade relations with many countries around the world, especially within the EU.

The Netherlands’ food exports have increased by 3.4 times in nominal terms since 2000, when they were valued at $23 billion. The share of food in the total agricultural exports has remained stable at around 90 percent over the same period. The Netherlands’ food exports have also been resilient to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they increased by 4 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

Brazil: A Food Powerhouse

Brazil was the third-largest exporter of food (excluding fish) in 2020, with a value of $73 billion, accounting for 6 percent of the global total. The main food products exported by Brazil are soybeans and soybean products, meat and meat preparations, sugar and sugar preparations, coffee and coffee preparations, and fruit and nuts. Brazil has a vast land area with diverse climatic conditions that allow it to produce a wide range of crops and livestock. Brazil also has abundant water resources and fertile soils that enhance its agricultural productivity.

Brazil’s food exports have increased by 4.8 times in nominal terms since 2000, when they were valued at $15 billion. The share of food in the total agricultural exports has increased from 75 percent in 2000 to 86 percent in 2020, as non-food products such as wood and rubber have grown slower. Brazil’s food exports have also benefited from the growing demand from China, which is its largest trading partner.

References:

http://faostat.fao.org/Portals/_Faostat/documents/pdf/FAOSTAT-Forestry-def-e.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Share-of-the-major-countries-in-sturgeon-production-A-Share-of-the-major-countries-in_fig2_348296880

https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/FO/visualize

https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/TCL

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/100615/4-countries-produce-most-food.asp

https://www.fao.org/3/cb9928en/cb9928en.pdf



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