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20 countries that import the most food

20 countries that import the most food

20 countries that import the most food – introduction

20 countries that import the most food, the list is based on the value of imports in USD rather than weight or percentage of GDP. For each of the 20 countries that import the most food we give an outline of which foods are the main imports for the country. Figures taken from the World Bank.

20 countries that import the most food from 1 to 20 are listed below.

20 countries that import the most food 1-5

United States

The United States is the world largest importer of foods with the strong economy and high disposable income being the driving factors. The United States main food imports are meat, tropical fruits, spices and gourmet foods.

Check out how to export your products to the USA in our Country Guide



The main food imports of Germany are meats, vegetables and oils. Around 72% of German food imports came from countries within the European Union. With a relatively large population and limited agricultural production Germany will remain a major food importer for the foreseeable future.

More information to help you import and export with Germany can be found in our Country Guide



France has its own very strong agriculture and food production sector. It does import oilseeds, fruit and distilled spirits from countries outside the European Union. Onions, meat, dairy and vegetables are imported from within the EU.


Netherlands mainly imports its food requirements from Belgium, Germany, France, Ivory Coast and Brazil. Netherlands main imports are sunflower oil/seed, rapeseed and canola seed.


Italy is famous for pasta and pizza of course. It imports olive oil to meet substantial demand for this product, suppliers are mainly in Greece and Spain. Italy also imports garlic from China and fruits from Spain and dairy products from Germany.

20 countries that import the most food 6-10


China is the largest importer of several foods including soybeans, corn, wheat, rice and dairy products. China food imports have risen by an average of 4.75% a year with concerns about domestic food safety a driving factor.

More information about China exports and imports can be found in the Country Guide.

Export Sales China


Belgium exports its famous beer and chocolate but is an importer of potatoes, onions and cabbage primarily from Netherlands, Spain, France and Italy.


The main food imports for Brazil are wine, processed vegetables, processed fruits, sausage casings and dairy products. The country exports sugar cane, beet sugar and soya beans.


Poland rather surprisingly is a net importer of foods as only 23% of the land is given over to agriculture. Poland is an importer of fruit, vegetables and processed foods.


Processed dairy products, soups, jams and jellies, sweeteners and syrups, pasta, alcohols, pet foods and snack foods are the long list of food products imported by Mexico in substantial quantities.

20 countries that import the most food 11-15


Spain is a major player in the world food market for both export and import. Spain is a major exporter of olive oil and wine but imports fruit, vegetables and seafood.


Cold climate and difficult terrain means that Canada has to import around two thirds of the food to meet the needs of its 38 million inhabitants.  Main food imports are fruit, vegetables and seafood.

United Kingdom

With a population of around 68 million and an economy of over 3 trillion USD equivalent the UK is a major economy. A shortage of agricultural land on a densely populated island coupled with a diverse population of varied tastes means that the UK imports fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products.


With a population of around 69 million Thailand is a major importer of food. Thailand is one of the world’s biggest exporters of rice but it imports foods such as soybean, wheat and a range of dairy products.


Argentina is an importer of fruit, vegetables and nuts. The main trading partners are Brazil, China, United States and India. 20 c0untries that import the most food

20 countries that import the most food

20 countries that import the most food 16-20


If you are an exporter of wheat, refined sugar, soya beans, dairy products, fresh fruits and processed fruits then Indonesia is a potential export market for you.


Austria’s main food imports are prepared nuts/seeds and dried fruits which are mainly used in the food processing sector in the production of cereals and pastries.


India imports nuts, spices and fresh fruits with the biggest supplier being the United States which supplies 15% of India food imports.

More information about India international trade can be found in the Country Guide



Singapore imports around 90% of its food requirements and only 1% of Singapore’s own land is set aside for agricultural usage. So Singapore imports a very wide range of foods with Malaysia and Brazil being the main current suppliers.


Ireland imports cereals, fruit and vegetables with the main imports from non EU countries coming from China, Costa Rica and South Africa.


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20 countries that import the most food

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