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24/03/2017

Spanish agri-food exports to China rose by 48% in 2016

  • In eight years, exports increased 15-fold in terms of value, to 1.170 billion euros currently

Manel González. Journalist

Food and beverage exports to China amounted to 1,169.5 million euros in 2016, according to foreign trade data from China's Customs Administration, analyzed by sources at Spain's Economic and Commercial Office in Beijing. This figure reflects growth of 48% compared with 2015.

As a result, Spain ranks 11th in terms of agri-food sales to China, after having advanced five spots since 2011.

Moreover, this is the greatest growth registered by a European Union country, and the second greatest growth after Brazil (+104%), which has become the leading supplier of meat to China, with 1.350 billion euros in the period from January to September (50% poultry, 40% beef and 10% pork).

Pork is actually the Spanish product that is most in demand in China, as visible in the 686.7 million euros obtained in 2016, which reflects spectacular growth of +81% with respect to 2015.  This is our leading food export to China, accounting for 59% of the total.

Moreover, Spain became the third-largest exporter of pork meat and offal to China in 2016, lagging only Germany and the US and having surpassed Denmark and Canada.

Wine exports have also expanded, by 23%, yielding 144.2 million euros. Ninety-three percent of revenues from Spanish wine sold in 2016 in China was bottled wine, although bulk wine accounts for 20% of the total.

And lastly, olive oil exports increased by 14%, to 139.3 million euros. Spain's market share of olive oil reached a historic 80%, far outstripping Italy (14%) and Greece (3%).

In fourth place, albeit a long way away from the three Spanish food export stars in China, is beer, which obtained revenues of 50.8 million euros after exports rose by 45% with respect to 2015.  

It's also worth nothing the enormous growth (+340%), to 14.5 million euros, in citrus fruit (oranges, mandarins and lemons), as well as powdered and UHT milk (+287%), to 15.1 million euros.

Among the ten main food groups exported to China, only three registered a decline in revenues: dairy products for baby food (-14%, to 26.5 million), cookies, chocolate and candy (-15%, to 15.3 million) and fish and shellfish (-35%, to 13.6 million).

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