Meat production grew by 5%, reaching 201,000 tonnes, as published by the Ministry of Agriculture of Spain in its Foreign News Gazette. We must bear in mind the size of the sector: in 2018, 6.7 million animals were slaughtered and 620,000 tonnes were produced: 10% more than in 2017. These growths have been caused by the improvement in the domestic consumption and in the exports.
Increase in consumption
In the domestic market, pork consumption per capita grew again this year. In 2018 it increased by 8%, and in this first quadrimester of 2019, it has grown by a further 1% year-to-year, reaching 14.37 kg. This increase is important if we bear in mind the 6 kg consumed 15 years ago. This is caused by the increase in the price of beef during these last months, that has modified the population's diet.
Important increase in pork exports
The great leap has happened in the area of exports. In the first four months of 2019, 7,586 tonnes were exported, this entailing 53% more than in the same period of 2018. In 2018 there was an increase by 23,192 tonnes: 59% more than in 2017. The leader of this rise is Argenpork, the Consortium for the Export of Argentinian Pork, created in October 2015. It is currently comprised of 18 companies. Since its beginning, the exports of the Consortium have grown: 871 tonnes in 2017; almost 5,000 tonnes in 2018; and 3,900 tonnes in 2019 (until April), aiming to reach 9,000 by the end of the year. The time is favourable and investments by the companies are expected to increase the stock of sows and to increase the production of pork. Traditionally, the main market has been Russia, with 95% of the exported volume, followed by Hong Kong and Africa. Nevertheless, the opening of the Chinese market to Argentinian pork is key, due to the Chinese demand (a consumption per capita of 56 kg in 2018 / the first consumer of pork in the world) and the insufficient domestic supply as a consequence of the African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in China. China approved the opening of its market to pork cuts, but no to by-products (this was what the sector aimed for), because China is the main consumer of feet, ears, heads, offal, etc.
Thursday, July 4th, 2019/ Foreign News Gazette-MAPA / Spain.