Brussels Daily
10 Jan 2019


Brussels Daily

Publication of latest agri-food trade figures: record EU agri-food exports 

The latest monthly agri-food trade report published today shows that EU agri-food export values reached a record high in October 2018. Valued at €13.1 billion, total exports were 2.9% above the previous highest level registered in March 2017. The monthly agri-food trade surplus stood at €3 billion – a 13% increase from October 2017, and the second biggest surplus on record. EU export values were fairly evenly distributed between sectors, with beverages and commodities showing the highest growth. Notable increases in exports were recorded for spirits and liqueurs (a gain of €167 million), other cereals (up by €93 million), wheat (a rise of €73 million) and wine and vermouth (which grew by €70 million). Import figures also increased by 5% (when compared to October 2017). Bilateral trade between the EU and the USA has continued to expand, with imports from the USA growing by €245 million. There was also significant growth in import levels from both China (growing by €80 million) and Russia (up by €71 million). The monthly report provides a table presenting the trade balance and its development by product category from November 2016 to October 2018. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Clémence Robin – Tel.: +32 229 52509)

EU, Japan and US met in Washington D.C. to jointly address global trade-distortive practices 

Commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström, met yesterday in Washington with Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative as part of the trilateral talks launched in 2017 to address global issues such as trade-distortive practices. The representatives of the EU, Japan and the US reiterated their concerns, reviewed ongoing work, and agreed to deepen their cooperation in all areas covered by the Ministerial Statements issued following their previous meetings in New York and Paris, including with respect to non-market policies and practices in other countries, industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfers, as well as WTO reform, digital trade and e-commerce. For more detail about the outcome of the discussion, see the joint statement issued following the meeting. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: +32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel: +32 229 51383)

Sustainable Finance: Commission expert group issues first report on disclosure of climate-related information

The Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance set up by the Commission in July 2018 has today published its first report on companies’ disclosure of climate-related information. It contains recommendations that will allow the Commission to update its non-binding guidelines on non-financial reporting with specific reference to climate-related information, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) established by the Financial Stability Board, and with the Commission proposal on a ‘taxonomy’ of sustainable economic activities. The report contains proposals for disclosing not just how climate change might influence the performance of a company, but also the impact of the company itself on climate change. Today’s announcement is another step forward in the implementation of the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan that the Commission published in March 2018 and follows up on the Commission’s legislative proposal on the disclosure of climate-related information presented in May 2018. The Technical Expert Group expects to complete its other reports, on taxonomy, carbon benchmarks, and green bonds, by June 2019. More information on the report. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 2 29 58615; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958

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