Globally, lettuce exports by country totaled US$2.92 billion in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 20.2% gain for all lettuce shippers over the five-year period starting in 2015. Year over year, worldwide sales of exported lettuce increased by 2.7% from 2018 to 2019.
Among continents, suppliers in European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported lettuce during 2019 with shipments valued at $1.8 billion or roughly three-fifths (60.8%) of the global total. In second place were North American exporters at 30.8% with 6.9% of international lettuce shipments originating from Asia. Smaller percentages came from Africa (0.8%), Oceania (0.3%) mostly 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 2019.
- Spain: US$897.2 million (30.7% of total lettuce exports)
- United States: $538.5 million (18.4%)
- Mexico: $308.8 million (10.6%)
- Netherlands: $268.5 million (9.2%)
- Italy: $247.6 million (8.5%)
- China: $139.1 million (4.8%)
- Belgium: $89.4 million (3.1%)
- France: $73 million (2.5%)
- Germany: $61 million (2.1%)
- Canada: $53.7 million (1.8%)
- Poland: $27.9 million (1%)
- United Kingdom: $18.8 million (0.6%)
- Sweden: $18.7 million (0.6%)
- Malaysia: $18.2 million (0.6%)
- Egypt: $13.9 million (0.5%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 95% of global lettuce exports in 2019 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing lettuce exporters since 2015 were: China (up 195.9%), Poland (up 170.3%), Mexico (up 120.4%) and Egypt (up 59.9%).
Two major suppliers posted declines in their exported lettuce sales, namely the United Kingdom (down -7.1%) and France (down -3.1%).
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for lettuce during 2019. 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$864.8 million (net export surplus up 16% since 2015)
- Mexico: $280.7 million (up 125.2%)
- United States: $149.8 million (down -42.2%)
- Netherlands: $142.8 million (up 61.7%)
- China: $139 million (up 195.8%)
- Italy: $128.9 million (up 2.6%)
- Egypt: $13.9 million (up 60.1%)
- Malaysia: $13.9 million (up 44.1%)
- Belgium: $13.3 million (up 53.8%)
- Iran: $11.4 million (down -69.4%)
- Australia: $9 million (up 80.4%)
- Guatemala: $6.8 million (up 56.7%)
- Portugal: $5.7 million (down -7.1%)
- Lebanon: $5.6 million (down -42.2%)
- Tunisia: $4.3 million (up 1,242%)
Spain generated 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 2019. 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$391.7 million (net export deficit down -2.3% since 2015)
- Germany: -$349.3 million (down -1.7%)
- United Kingdom: -$200.3 million (down -13.9%)
- France: -$64.7 million (up 1.4%)
- Switzerland: -$59.9 million (down -3.1%)
- Austria: -$58.5 million (up 7%)
- Poland: -$50.1 million (up 0.6%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$37.8 million (up 42.7%)
- Sweden: -$34.8 million (down -10.2%)
- Russia: -$34.2 million (up 136.9%)
- Denmark: -$31 million (down -0.9%)
- Finland: -$31 million (down -2.8%)
- Ireland: -$27 million (up 6.7%)
- Singapore: -$26 million (up 5%)
- Norway: -$24.1 million (down -1.9%)
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 May 29, 2020
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on May 29, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 29, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on May 29, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 29, 2020
Wikipedia, Lettuce. Accessed on May 29, 2020