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Cattle, Beef Production in Spain Rebounded in 2015

02 March 2016

SPAIN - Spain’s cattle and beef production showed a rebound in production in 2015 after several years following a downward trend, according to a recent report from the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS).

In Spain, relevant official data of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) in 2014 shows that Spanish cattle sector accounts for 15 per cent of the final livestock production and near 6 per cent of final agricultural production.

In Spain, final cattle production has decreased 13 per cent since 2008 in favour of swine production, which has increased 22 per cent since the same period. The main regions are Castile Leon, Galicia, Extremadura, Castile La Mancha, Catalonia and Andalusia.

Spain is the fifth largest cattle producer within the EU28, accounting for 6.9 per cent of the total EU herd.

Production in Spain in 2014 started to recover due to more reasonable feed costs and better profitability margins, and has continued with this upward trend in 2015 due to the higher demand from third countries. According to the industry, this trend may continue in 2016.

Cattle and beef production increased in 2015 in concordance with the higher demand experienced from third countries for both Spanish cattle and beef.

Total cattle beginning stocks in January 2015 increased 4.7 per cent, with beef cattle beginning stocks 2 per cent higher than previous year.

According to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, from January until October 2015, total slaughter grew 8 per cent reaching almost 2 million head during this period, due to the strong demand from third countries.

Also, from January to October 2015, Spanish beef production increased 10 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year with 526,561 MT. Thus, in 2015 beef production started a recovery after several years following a downward trend. In 2016 total slaughter and beef production are both expected to continue the same upward trend but at a lower rate.

In Spain, the report said beef consumption continued to decline due to the Spanish economic crisis and the meat prices.

In 2015 this downward trend may continue due also to the decrease in population by immigrants leaving Spain.

Live cattle exports from January to October 2015 grew 47 per cent, due to important increases in exports to third countries, mainly to Lebanon (+154 per cent), Libya(+110 per cent), Morocco or Algeria and Egypt as a new market due to competitive prices. This trend is expected to continue during 2016.

Beef exports increased 22 per cent until October 2015 due to more competitive prices. Portugal, Italy and France remain the main Spanish beef destinations followed by The Netherlands. Algeria, Hong Kong and Morocco are the main non EU destinations.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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