Eurostat data on exports and imports of natural bee honey from the 28 EU member states that for the last year, Bulgaria has exported approximately 10,000 tonnes of honey (or 103,600 kg) to EU countries, and about 4 tonnes of honey (3,925 kg)for non-EU countries.
At the same time, Bulgaria has imported about 12 tons of honey from non-EU countries and 3.5 tons of honey from EU countries, European statistics show.
According to the data of the President of the United Bulgarian Apiculture Union Eng. Mihail Mihaylov, specially for BTA, Bulgaria is an important exporter of high quality honey for Germany, Austria, Italy, France, the United States, Norway and others, and we have been exporting honey to countries from the Middle East / without Turkey /. The market share of our exports to the EU is about 1%, but on the other hand, we compensate with the quality production, emphasized Eng. Mihailov.
The problem with the industry is the lack of a Bulgarian bee honey trademark, which will be used by the beekeepers in the European markets, said Mikhailov.
China emerges as the largest importer of honey in the EU for the last year with nearly 80,000 tonnes, or about 40% of the total honey imports into the EU, according to Eurostat data. Another major external importer of honey in the EU is Ukraine – nearly 40,000 tonnes or 20% of the imports, as well as Argentina – 25,000 tonnes, Mexico – 21,000 tonnes and Chile – 8,000 tonnes.
The largest importer of honey from non-EU countries is Germany – nearly 60 000 tonnes, followed by Great Britain – 45 000 tonnes, Belgium – 22 000 tonnes, Poland – 21 000 tonnes and Spain – 17 000 tonnes.
According to Eurostat data, in 2018, EU Member States imported 208 000 tonnes of natural honey from non-EU countries worth 452 million euro. By comparison, last year, only 21 000 tonnes of honey were exported from EU Member States – in non-EU countries, with total exports of 119 million euro.
In addition, 137,000 tonnes of honey was traded among the EU Member States in 2018, with Hungary exporting 20,000 tons of honey to the other EU Member States, or 14% of the total EU honey exports. This makes Hungary the largest exporter of honey in the EU’s internal borders. Belgium, 19 000 tonnes, 14%, Spain 18 000 tonnes, 13%, Germany 16 000 tonnes 12% and Poland 15 000 tonnes 11% of total exports within the EU.