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Adding value to spanish exports


13 DE diciembre DE 2016

The Christmas-food-beverages triangle

Ricardo Migueláñez. @rmiguelanez

This week we're replacing our usual weekly bulletin with this Special Report on Christmas Products. For some time now we've spoken about the importance of shining a light on our food products and the dedication of professionals and institutions in different parts of the chain, from production and processing through to sales. And what better time to mention it again than the present, during the Christmas holidays, when gastronomy plays such a leading role.

If ever there was an argument to support this position, it's quality, as Spain is considered "the best source of Mediterranean products in the world."

Other countries are certain of this, as visible in our agricultural, fish, food and forestry exports between September 2015 and August 2016, when a new record was set with 45.527 billion euros, i.e. 4.9% higher than in the same period the previous year (September 2014 to August 2015).

Food and beverage industry exports during the 12-month period reached 26.699 billion euros, while imports amounted to 19.805 billion euros, yielding a surplus of 6.894 billion euros and year-on-year growth of 13.3%.

A good part of this performance is due, like every year, to typical Christmas products. During the holidays, consumption of quality products by Spanish families and the catering and foodservice segments skyrockets. Christmas hampers, work events, get-togethers with friends, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, Three King's Day... There are lots of festivities and there are countless great possibilities.

During this time of year, everyone's enjoying Ibérico pork, a flagship product of Marca España all around the world. Producers had a great year—a record year—in 2015. According to data from the Spanish Meat Export Office (OECE), 20,000 tons were exported in the first three quarters, 25% more than in the same period of 2014. In total, 80% of Ibérico meat goes to EU countries, but little by little it's gaining a foothold in other leading markets, such as the US and China.

The same is true for wine, another of our greatest assets. In 2015, Spain led global exports, with 24 million hectoliters on the market. According to the Spanish Wine Market Observatory (OEMV), we surpassed Italy and France. France is our main customer, importing 6.5 million hectoliters. There is, however, room for improvement: the value of exports. This item amounted to 2.638 billion euros in 2015, a notable distance from the 8.000 billion generated by French wine.

Other typical products during this season are turrón and marzipan, of which Spain is a leader in terms of production. Exports expanded by 9.5%, and by 12% in terms of volume and value during the last year. The EU—Portugal, France, the UK and Italy in particular—account for 82% of imports, while 12% goes to America and 6% to Asia and the rest of the world. These countries appreciate their quality and flavor and are increasingly interested in buying them, year after year.

Cava, seafood, smoked products, lamb, goat... This is just a small example of Spanish gastronomy during the holidays and of the strength of certain sectors that work all year long to ensure that we receive top-flight products during this special time of year. We should give our foods the merit and value they deserve.

Have a great week.

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