Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds. An alternate definition of the term is applied somewhat arbitrarily, often by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits, flowers, nuts, and cereal grains, but include savory fruits such as tomatoes and courgettes, flowers such as broccoli, and seeds such as pulses.
The global vegetable market revenue amounted to 1,249.8 Billion Dollars in 2019, picking up by 2.4 percent against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price. The market value increased at an average annual rate of plus 4.1 percent over the period from 2007 to 2019; the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010, with an increase of 8.1 percent against the previous year. Global vegetable consumption peaked in 2019 and is likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.
Production from 2007 to 2019
Global vegetable production stood at 1,555 Million tonnes in 2019, jumping by 3.2 percent from the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of plus 2.8 percent over the period from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period.
Exports from 2007 to 2019
In 2019, approximately 47 million tonnes of vegetables were exported worldwide; standing approximately at the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of plus 1.7 percent from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. In value terms, vegetable exports amounted to 42.3 Billion Dollars in estimates in 2019.
Exports by Country
The Netherlands with 6.1 Million tonnes, Mexico exported 5.8 Million tonnes, Spain exported 5.1 Million tonnes, China exported 4.3 Million tonnes, France exported 3.5 Million tonnes, Germany exported 2.7 Million tonnes, and the U.S. with 2.4 Metric tonnes represented roughly 64 percent of total exports of vegetables in 2018.
The following exporters: Canada with 1.4 Metric tonnes, Belgium with 1.3 Metric tonnes, India with 1.2 Million tonnes, Egypt with 1.1 Million tonnes, and Italy with 864 thousand tonnes together made up 13 percent of total exports.
From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, among the main exporting countries, was attained by Mexico, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
In value terms, Spain with 6.7 Billion Dollars, the Netherlands with 6.5 Billion Dollars, and Mexico 6.2 Billion Dollars constituted the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2018, together comprising 46 percent of global exports.
Export Prices by Country
The average vegetable export price stood at 899 dollars per tonne in 2019, leveling off from the previous year. Over the period from 2007 to 2019, it increased at an average annual rate of plus 1.1 percent. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017, when the average export price increased by 6.6 percent against the previous year. In that year, the average export prices for vegetables reached their peak level of 910 dollars per tonne, and then declined slightly in the following year.
Export prices varied noticeably by country of origin; the country with the highest export price was Italy with 1,679 dollars per tonne, while Germany with 342 dollars per tonne was amongst the lowest.
From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of export prices was attained by Canada, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
Imports from 2007 to 2019
In 2018, approximately 47 Million tonnes of vegetables were imported worldwide; approximately mirroring the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of plus 1.8 percent over the period from 2007 to 2019; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2010 when imports increased by 7.2 percent year to year. Over the period under review, global vegetable imports attained their peak figure at 49 Million tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2019, imports stood at a somewhat lower figure. In value terms, vegetable imports totaled 41.9 Billion Dollars in estimates in 2019.
The total import value increased at an average annual rate of plus 2.7 percent from 2007 to 2019; the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 when imports increased by 17 percent year to year. Global imports peaked at 42.5 Billion Dollars in 2017 and then declined slightly in the following year.
Imports by Country
In 2019, the U.S. led with 7.4 Million tonnes, distantly followed by Germany with 3.8 Million tonnes, the Netherlands with 3.1 Million tonnes, Russia with 2.2 Million tonnes, and the UK with 2.2 Million tonnes were the key importers of vegetables, together with achieving 39 percent of total imports. The following importers: Belgium with 1.9 Million tonnes, Canada with 1.9 Million tonnes, France with 1.9 Million tonnes, Malaysia with 1.4 Million tonnes, Italy with 1.2 Million tonnes, Spain with 1.2 Million tonnes and Indonesia with 819 thousand tonnes altogether made up 22 percent of total imports.
From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, among the main importing countries, was attained by the U.S., while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
In value terms, the largest vegetable importing markets worldwide were the U.S. with 8.5 Billion dollars, Germany with 5.1 Billion Dollars, and the UK with 3 Billion Dollars, with a combined 40 percent share of global imports. These countries were followed by Canada, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which together accounted for a further 30 percent.
Import Prices by Country
The average vegetable import price stood at $884 per tonne in 2018, approximately mirroring the previous year. Overall, the vegetable import price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, the country with the highest import price was the UK ($1,367 per tonne), while Malaysia ($472 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.
From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of import prices was attained by Spain, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
This video provides an in-depth analysis of the global vegetable market. Within it, you will discover the latest data on market trends and opportunities by country, consumption, production, and price developments, as well as the global trade in imports and exports. The forecast exhibits market prospects through 2025.
Originally, vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world, probably during the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed. At first, plants that grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, and crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations.
China is the largest producer of vegetables, and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries. The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their families for food to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single-product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing, processing, and marketing.
Vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked and play an important role in human nutrition, being mostly low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Many nutritionists encourage people to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, five or more portions a day often being recommended.