Spanish pork exports could pose a 2015 challenge to UK industry

Optimistic pork production figures emerging from Spain suggest that output in the country will continue to grow in the short-term, potentially making Spanish pigmeat a 2015 threat to other pork exporters, including the UK, according to BPEX.

Noting that Spanish pig producers currently have the lowest cost of production of all EU countries, BPEX say that the industry there is “better placed to weather the current storm in the EU pig market than some of its competitors”.

Spanish farmers are also highly motivated to find increased export markets at present, due to a 1% decline in domestic fresh pork consumption in the year to September 2014, and a 4% fall in processed meat consumption.

“Despite lower domestic demand for pigmeat, Spain slaughtered 3% more pigs in the first nine months of this year than in the same period of 2013,” said BPEX, commenting as part of a detailed review of the Spanish market. “During this time, pigmeat production also rose by 3%, to 2.61 million tonnes.”

All of which leaves the industry with a sharpened focus on export development, a focus which has already delivered a January-to-September gain this year of 5% over 2013. This continued the long-term trend which has seen Spanish pork exports virtually double over the last decade.

“With domestic demand subdued, this will mean more Spanish pork becoming available for export,” said BPEX. “Spain’s success at diversifying its markets may act as a potential threat to other pork exporters, therefore, including the UK.”

Access the full BPEX report

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