Portugal has been a major economic power since the 15th century, mainly due to its strategic position which allowed trade – imports and exports to flourish. Still one of the top 50 economies Portugal’s economy is slowly improving after a period of decline, seeing a rise of 1.8% in 2019. Portugal’s main imports remain fish, meat and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Portugal is an important gateway into different markets as it keeps close business ties with countries and territories including Brazil, Macau, Angola, Mozambique, and other African countries, where over 250 million people speak Portuguese.
Portugal is also an excellent entry point into the EU market because due to a deficit in agricultural and food goods it relies on imports to supply its population
From a continental perspective, almost four-fifths (78.8%) of Portugal’s total imports by value in 2019 were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 11.9% of imports purchased by Portugal. Smaller percentages came from Africa (4.9%), Latin America (2.2%) excluding Mexico and the Caribbean, North America (also 2.2%) then Oceania (0.04%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
In 2018, Portugal imported US$13.7 billion of agri-food products from the world: 81% of which originated in the EU. Within the EU, Spain is the main supplier, since 44% of total imports originated in the neighbor country.
Traditionally a naval power, Portugal has had a strong tradition in the fishing sector and it is one of the countries with the highest fish consumption per capita. Despite significant national production, the Portuguese local market cannot satisfy the need of the population and fish and seafood imports are growing. Portugal’s leading suppliers are of course Spain, with over 35%, followed by Russia ( around 15%) and the Netherlands (10%).
Portugal is also importing significant amounts of meat, with imports of meat rising from the previous year with 13,3%. The total import value of meat in 2019 was US$1.25 billion, and the leading suppliers were Spain, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The most demanded type of meat is pork. The import value of it amounted to approx. US$284 million. After pork, the Portuguese prefer bovine meat (import value of US$86 million) and edible offal (import value of US$52 million).
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables…plus nuts
The imports of vegetables and certain roots and tubers grew in the last year with approx. 24.9%, while for fruits, the rise was approx. 18%. Citrus fruits and melons are among the favorites and the import value was US$879.83 million. Portugal imports the majority of fruits from Spain (US$450.63 million), followed by Brazil (US$58.72 million) and Angola (US$2.93 million).
For vegetables, Spain is once again the major exporter, with US$294.29 million, while other countries from the EU, such as France and the Netherlands follow.
When it comes to nuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts are in big demand. For almonds, the import value is US$26 million and the major supply sources are Spain 60%, USA 28%, Germany 11%.
Walnuts are provided by Chile 30% and Germany 28%, while pistachios come from Spain 43% and the US 38%, their import value combined being US$23 million.
3 Food Importers from Portugal:
Address: Zona Industrial De Taboeira, Lote 24, Aveiro
- Henrique Fiel Lourenço
Address: Rua Alfredo Dinis 74, Lisboa
- Anamac Unipessoal
Address:Travessa Monte Da Bela, Nº73 M , Ermesinde
To get access to a list of more active food importers from Portugal, you can access one of the BestFoodImporters databases.