SPAIN - For the first nine months of 2016, Spanish export volumes of fresh/frozen pork products were up 24 per cent on the previous year, at 1.1 million tonnes.
Growth was biased towards the second quarter, though shipments were still up 16 per cent on the year during the July-September period.
Export growth has been enabled by strong Chinese demand, coupled to expanding Spanish production; at over 3 million tonnes, production was up 6 per cent on the year during the January to September period.
Volumes shipped to China more than doubled during this period, reaching 202 thousand tonnes and growing to 18 per cent of the total exports. Growth has slowed to this market moving into the third quarter, as EU exporters experienced increasing competition from US and Brazilian product.
Nonetheless, volume was still a substantial 54 per cent higher than in Q3 2015.
Intra-EU trade has also grown on the year, with volumes increasing by 7 per cent relative to the first nine months of 2016. A 12 per cent growth in shipments to Italy has been significant in driving this, alongside a 53 per cent expansion in volumes destined for Poland, albeit from a smaller base.
Decreasing volumes to France (-13 per cent), the dominant destination before the rise of China, and Portugal (-18 per cent) partially counteracted this growth.
In terms of value, growth for the first nine months of the year was behind volume, up 19 per cent on 2015 to €2,323 million.
This follows from unit prices for the Q1-Q3 period as a whole averaging lower than in 2015. However, rising European pig prices in the latter half of the year have reversed this trend for the third quarter alone, with the value of exports in the latest three months up 22 per cent.
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