Friday. 02.06.2023

Where does the honey we consume in Europe come from?

The 20th of May is the World Bee Day. Among other benefits, bees produce honey, a delicacy appreciated all over the world. So below we tell you who are the main countries importers and exporters of honey from a European perspective.

Graphic and figures by Eurostat, the EU statistical office.

The European Union (EU) member states imported 208,000 tonnes of natural honey from non-EU Member States in 2018, worth €452 million. In contrast, in 2018 just 21,000 tonnes of honey were exported by the EU Member States outside the EU. These exports were worth €119 million, according to the figures provided by Eurostat.

Compared to 2013, imports of honey from outside the EU increased in weight by 25%. On the other hand, the weight of EU exports of honey to non-Member States increased by 40%.

Germany, the largest importer

In 2018, according to the European statistical office, 60,000 tonnes of honey were imported to Germany from non-EU Member States (29% of total extra-EU imports of honey).

This makes Germany the largest EU importer of honey from non-EU countries, ahead of the United Kingdom (45,000 tonnes, 22%), followed by Belgium (22,000 tonnes, 11%), Poland (21,000 tonnes, 10%) and Spain (17,000 tonnes, 8%).

China, the main country of origin

Imports of honey from non-EU countries came mainly from China (80,000 tonnes, or 39% of total extra-EU honey imports), ahead of Ukraine (41,000 tonnes, 20%), followed by Argentina (25,000 tonnes, 12%), Mexico (21,000 tonnes, 10%), and Chile (8,000 tonnes, 4%).

Hungary, Belgium and Spain, largest exporters

In 2018, 137,000 tonnes of honey were traded among the EU Member States.

Hungary exported to other EU Member States 20,000 tonnes of honey in 2018 (14% of total intra-EU exports of honey). This makes Hungary the largest intra-EU exporter of honey, closely followed by Belgium (19,000 tonnes, 14%) and Spain (18,000 tonnes, 13%), ahead of Germany (16,000 tonnes, 12%) and Poland (15,000 tonnes, 11%).

Where does the honey we consume in Europe come from?