Spain has overtaken Germany in having the EU’s largest pig herd, with the promise of further growth to come in 2016, according to AHDB Pork.
Spanish pork exports increased by 17% last year, in comparison to 2014, reaching a total of 1.23 million tonnes, with 71% of all sales going into other EU markets. This included an increased flow of product into the UK.
“Shipments of fresh/frozen pork from Spain to the rest of the EU grew by 12% to 868,000 tonnes in 2015, with France being the main recipient,” said AHDB Pork. “Trade was also up 11% to Italy but saw a 5% decrease to Portugal.
“Sales to the UK, meanwhile, increased by 16% for the year as a whole but growth was much stronger in the second half of the year, when volumes were up nearly 30% 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.”
Based on Spain’s December 2015 census, the country’s pig herd grew by 7% last year to reach 28.4 million head. This now makes it the largest pig herd in Europe, overtaking Germany.
“Spain’s breeding sow herd also grew by 5% over the same period, inferring that domestic production will increase further in 2016,” said AHDB Pork.