SPAIN - The long-term growth of Spanish pork exports continued in the first half of 2015, with shipments reaching a record 584,600 tonnes. This was 15 per cent up on a year earlier and more than double the level recorded a decade ago.
Growth is mainly being driven by rising domestic production at a time when the Spanish consumer market remains subdued following the economic difficulties of recent years.
In the first five months of this year, 9 per cent more pig meat was produced in Spain than a year earlier.
The majority of the extra output will have found its way onto export markets, especially as ham and sausage exports were also higher. To ensure this could happen, unit prices of pork exports were 7 per cent lower than a year before but, even so, their value rose by 7 per cent to €1.29 billion.
Although shipments to other EU markets were higher by 9 per cent , the strongest growth was recorded elsewhere, so the EU’s share of trade fell from 77 per cent last year to 73 per cent.
Particularly strong sales were recorded to China, up by more than half, and South Korea, up by three-quarters.
A wide range of smaller third country markets also took more Spanish pork, although shipments to Japan, the second largest non-EU buyer, were little changed.
Even within the EU, most countries increased their purchases, although higher production meant Germany took less Spanish pork and UK sales were virtually unchanged from a year before.
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