Shock! Horror! Latvia grew 3,200 tonnes of pumpkins last year

Take note – story published 2 years ago

European Union statistics agency Eurostat has marked Halloween by publishing pumpkin data.

In 2020, about 31 000 hectares across the EU were devoted to cultivating them and other types of gourds, and an estimated 760 000 tonnes were harvested. About 85% of all pumpkins and gourdes in the EU were produced in just five Member States in 2020: Poland (with 163 900 tonnes), Spain (143 850 tonnes), France (126 230 tonnes), Portugal (121 060 tonnes) and Germany (86 890 tonnes).

Pumpkin production in the EU, 2020
Pumpkin production in the EU, 2020

Latvia managed a respectable 3 200 tonnes of gourds and pumpkins in 2020, which was a bumper crop compared to the 1 790 tonnes of 2019 and 1 300 tonnes of 2018 and nearly three times as much as in the particularly poor pumpkin year of 2017. 

That is partly explained by an increase in the area of land given over to pumpkin production which was risen from 100 hectares in 2017 to 300 hectares in 2020. 

Lithuania managed to produce a few more pumpkins than Latvia last year (3 680 tonnes) but Estonia, according to the figures, was completely pumpkin-free save for those presumably grown at home for non-commercial purposes.

In 2020, the EU imported 48 841 tonnes of pumpkins, squash and gourds from abroad, 57% more than in 2019. The highest share of imports in 2020 came from South Africa (24%), followed by Morocco (12%), Brazil (11%) and Argentina (10%).

In 2020, the EU exported 22 614 tonnes of pumpkins, squash and gourds outside the EU, 4% more than in 2019. These exports were mainly to the United Kingdom (69%) and Switzerland (18%).

Among EU Member States, Spain exported the most pumpkins, squash and gourds to non-EU countries (48% of the extra-EU exports in volume) in 2020, followed by Portugal (25%), ahead of France (11%) and the Netherlands (6%).

If you are in the mood for more pumpkin news, read our recent story on Latvia's biggest and most beautiful pumpkins of the year and find out more about the current boom in the popularity of pumpkins.

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