The agri-food sector is growing in Spain [2023]
El sector alimentario crece en España

The Spanish food, beverage and agricultural processing sectors continue to occupy a dominant position in international trade and to show their importance in the country. This makes the sector an important target for companies wishing to export or import in this area. Is this your case?

From Oftex we provide you with data and a brief analysis so that you have all the information and the latest news.

What does the Spanish agri-food sector represent?

Spain is one of the largest agricultural producers in the European Union. It produces a wide variety of products, such as fruit and vegetables, cereals, olives, grapes, citrus fruits and almonds.

Spain is also one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of food and beverages, especially in sectors such as olives, wine and pork.

According to data from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spanish exports of food and beverages in particular increased by 12.8% in 2022 compared to the previous year, reaching 64,248.4 million euros.

Who are the trading partners?

The European Union is the most important destination for Spanish agri-food exports. We have France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, which are important countries for the agri-food economy and if we add the United Kingdom, together they represent almost half of total exports.

In the latest market characteristics, the United States, China and the United Kingdom are emerging as markets with great potential, according to a report prepared by Alimarket.

The United States is indeed an important market, especially for wine, olive oil and citrus fruits. According to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, wine exports to the United States increased by 12.8% in 2020.

As for China, it is a growing market for Spanish agri-food products, especially for wine, citrus fruits and dairy products. According to the same source, wine exports to China have increased by 15.5% in 2020.

Finally, the UK remains an important market for Spanish agri-food products despite Brexit, especially for citrus fruits, vegetables and wine.

For which products is there most demand?

Among the main agricultural products that are growing, we can find several categories:

The growth in sales of oils and fats stands out, with an annual increase of +32.2% in 2022. In fact, according to the Asoliva association, Spain is the world’s leading producer of olive oil. Spanish olive oil exports reached 2.4 million euros in 2020:

The main purchasing countries being Italy, the United States and France.

Fruit, vegetables and pulses remained the main export interest, with 21,811.7 million euros in value in 2022.

In 2021, according to Fepex, fruit exports increased by 3% in volume and 6% in value, totalling 9,104 million euros, with strawberries up by 721 million euros (+23%) and stone fruits, peaches and nectarines leading the way, with exports of 442 million euros (+11%) and 490 million euros (+9%).

The main buying countries were France, Germany and the Netherlands.

How will this sector change in the future?

New technologies:

New technologies have the potential to transform the way agri-food products are exported, improving their productivity, quality and scope.

In the future, greater use of digital technologies, such as robotics and precision farming, is expected to improve the efficiency and sustainability of production.

Environmental protection:

Environmental protection is becoming increasingly important with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the preservation of biodiversity. In 2020, the organic market in Spain grew by 17% to reach a turnover of 2.2 millioneuros according to the Ecovalia association.

In particular, consumers are increasingly concerned about their health and the environment, which is driving demand for organic products. However, there is still a strong demand for processed foods and seafood products.

Necessary diversification:

To sustain the growth and development of the sector, companies must seek to diversify their target markets and gain scale abroad.

This will reduce dependence on specific markets and exchange rate fluctuations. And by expanding their activities abroad, companies can stimulate innovation and new product development, as well as enhance their international reputation and brand image.

Thank you for reading the article “The agri-food sector is growing in Spain”.

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