Globally, lettuce exports by country totaled US$2.8 billion in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 15.8% gain for all lettuce shippers over the five-year period starting in 2014. Year over year, sales of worldwide lettuce exports improved by 3.8% from 2017 to 2018.
Among continents, European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported lettuce during 2018 with shipments valued at $1.8 billion or approaching two-thirds (63.6%) of the global total. In second place were North American exporters at 28.3% with 6.6% of international lettuce shipments originating from Asia. Smaller percentages came from Africa (0.9%), Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia, then Latin America (also 0.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 0705 for fresh or chilled lettuce.
Top Lettuce Exports by Country
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of lettuce during 2018.
- Spain: US$881.2 million (31.5% of total lettuce exports)
- United States: $510.3 million (18.2%)
- Netherlands: $294.7 million (10.5%)
- Italy: $250.3 million (8.9%)
- Mexico: $235.2 million (8.4%)
- China: $101.3 million (3.6%)
- Belgium: $87.7 million (3.1%)
- France: $70.6 million (2.5%)
- Germany: $60 million (2.1%)
- Canada: $46.6 million (1.7%)
- Poland: $21.2 million (0.8%)
- Sweden: $19 million (0.7%)
- Malaysia: $18.3 million (0.7%)
- United Kingdom: $18 million (0.6%)
- Hungary: $15.7 million (0.6%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 94% of all lettuce exports in 2018 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing lettuce exporters since 2014 were: China (up 265.9%), Mexico (up 106.5%), Poland (up 67.8%) and Netherlands (up 66.7%).
Three top countries posted declines in their exported lettuce sales namely: France (down -13.6%), Belgium (down -11.2%) and United Kingdom (down -9.1%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for lettuce during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported lettuce and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Spain: US$844.2 million (net export surplus up 9% since 2014)
- Mexico: $219.9 million (up 131.6%)
- United States: $206.7 million (down -21.9%)
- Netherlands: $166.8 million (up 96.6%)
- Italy: $131.6 million (down -5.9%)
- China: $101.3 million (up 284.3%)
- Egypt: $14.5 million (up 121.1%)
- Malaysia: $12.6 million (up 22.1%)
- Iran: $12 million (down -66.7%)
- Jordan: $12 million (down -8.3%)
- Belgium: $10.6 million (down -22.3%)
- Australia: $9 million (up 69.3%)
- Lebanon: $7.9 million (down -29.3%)
- Guatemala: $6 million (up 53.9%)
- Tunisia: $5.7 million (up 89.2%)
Spain has the highest surplus in the international trade of lettuce. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms strong Spanish competitive advantages for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for lettuce during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported lettuce purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- Canada: -US$376.5 million (net export deficit up 3% since 2014)
- Germany: -$355.6 million (down -6.4%)
- United Kingdom: -$227.6 million (down -5.7%)
- France: -$76.8 million (up 33.8%)
- Switzerland: -$57.3 million (down -17.9%)
- Austria: -$56.1 million (down -3.5%)
- Poland: -$50.8 million (up 2.1%)
- Sweden: -$34.5 million (down -18%)
- Finland: -$33.7 million (down -3.6%)
- Japan: -$33.4 million (up 36.3%)
- Russia: -$32.3 million (down -25.5%)
- Denmark: -$31.9 million (up 11.1%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$30.6 million (up 89.7%)
- Hong Kong: -$26.3 million (down -18.3%)
- Ireland: -$26.2 million (down -3.5%)
Surpassing Germany in 2017, Canada incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of lettuce. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights both Canada’s and Germany’s competitive disadvantages for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for lettuce-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful consumer demand particularly in those two lettuce-deficient nations.
Lettuce Exporting Companies
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following suppliers are examples of lettuce-trading exporters. The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses:
- AA Group, S. Coop (Spain)
- Algo Imports & Exports (United States)
- Bhuvani Exports (India)
- Javema Holdings Pty Ltd (South Africa)
- Partners for Import Export Trading Agencies & General Supplies (Egypt)
- PC Suppliers Company Ltd (Thailand)
- Tunisia Trade Partners (Tunisia)
- Yunnan Chuntian Agricultural Products (China)
See also Tomatoes Exports by Country, Potatoes Exports by Country and Corn Exports by Country
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for lettuce. Accessed on August 28, 2018
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 24, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 24, 2019
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 24, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 24, 2019
Wikipedia, Lettuce. Accessed on August 28, 2018