SPAIN - For 2015, exports of Spanish pork increased 17 per cent on the year earlier to 1.23 million tonnes.
In euro terms, the value of these shipments also grew, although at a lesser pace, up by 6 per cent to €2.65 billion. This highlighted that the unit price fell by 9 per cent in 2015, versus 2014, to €2.15/kg.
Domestic production levels were up 8 per cent year on year, coupled with a growing pig herd. The December 2015 census stated that the Spanish pig herd grew 7 per cent during 2015 to 28.4 million head, making it now the largest pig herd in Europe, overtaking Germany.
The breeding sow herd also grew by 5 per cent over the same period, inferring that domestic production will increase further into 2016.
With forecasts that domestic consumption will stabilise in 2016, following a recovery in 2015, production will still be ahead of demand, thereby creating an even greater excess of product available for export. Therefore we can expect to see Spanish export levels continue to rise into 2016.
Shipments of fresh/frozen pork from Spain to the rest of the EU grew by 12 per cent to 868,000 tonnes in 2015, with France being the main recipient. Trade was also up 11 per cent to Italy but saw a 5 per cent decrease to Portugal.
EU shipments accounted for 71 per cent of Spanish pork exports but this is down from over 80 per cent just two years earlier. Sales to the UK increased by 16 per cent for the year as a whole but growth was much stronger in the second half of the year, when volumes were up nearly 30 per cent year on year.
With more Spanish pork set to be available in 2016, there is little reason why this growth could not continue, if the demand is there from UK buyers.
Non-EU trade also saw significant growth in 2015, versus a year earlier, with exports up 30 per cent to 362,000 tonnes. This was largely driven by a 72 per cent increase in shipments to China, while Japan and South Korea saw more modest growth of 6 per cent and 7 per cent year-on-year respectively.
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