"The Taste of Nature" is not only a preference of the Austrian consumer, but growths in exports show that Austrian food and wine is also treasured all over the world. For example in the case of cereals, Austria has come a long way from being a net-importer in the early 80’s to being a net-exporter since the late 80’s. The Republic of Austria will soon be on par with the European Union’s traditional agricultural exporting countries such as France, Denmark and the Netherlands. Although imports of food are also growing, Austria has managed to reduce its agricultural trade deficit of around $2.2 billion before its accession to the European Union in 1995 to a nearly positive trade balance last year.
2011 was another promising year for Austrian agricultural exports. In comparison to the previous year, the value of agricultural exports grew by 16.1 % while the quantity of exports increased by 4 %. In fact, with the tremendous growth, the value of agricultural exports broke $12 billion (more than €9 billion). While fresh produce, like beef, pork, poultry, but also dairy are exported to the surrounding countries, Austria has specialized on promoting exports of higher valued foods and beverages on large and distant markets.
Besides the neighbouring countries of Germany and Italy, the U.S. belongs to the third biggest export market for Austrian food. But also in the case of Austrian wine, of which Austria exports around 30% of its production, the U.S. is the third most important market after Germany and Switzerland. And even though exports slowed down during the financial crisis, the U.S. was the only market that still grew. The most popular Austrian export products to the United States besides wine are energy drinks like Red Bull, cheeses, chocolates, fruit juices, pumpkinseed oil, pastries and jams.
Top image: © Österreich Werbung/ Reiberger