Irish Beef Exports to Spain Perform Well

SPAIN - By the end of 2012 the Spanish beef sector represented 15.7 per cent of the final livestock output and 5.5 per cent of the countries ‘agricultural output, accoirding to Cecilia Ruiz, Madrid Office Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
calendar icon 28 January 2013
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The beef sector is the third most important after pork and dairy. Spain has a cattle herd of over 5.9 million head with around 600,000 cattle processed annually.

During the January to September 2012 period Spain imported 80,200 tonnes of beef, mainly from Poland (11,325t), the Netherlands (8,543n), Germany (8,246t) and Ireland (8,215t). At the same time the country exported 93,400 tonnes, mainly to Portugal (29,388t), Italy (13,099t) and France (11,447t).

Average per capita consumption at home remains very low at 6.4kg/person at an average price of €9/kg. Beef consumption outside the home is suffering from the economic situation even more with just over 1kg/per capita annually.

Traditional butcher shops still play a relevant role and represent some 48 per cent of retail sales. Modern distribution accounts for most of the remaining sales, clearly led by Mercadona, whose success is based on yearling and cow meat sales at very competitive prices, and frozen beef fillets.

Other supermarkets´ formats are growing their sales vs. hypermarkets mainly based on proximity and the trend towards more shopping occasions with smaller shopping baskets.

Irish beef is very well positioned in Spain, featuring in the top four Spanish retail chains, with volume exports of 14,500 tonnes in 2012, which represents good stability in a difficult environment.

The outlook for Irish exports to Spain in 2013 remains positive given the decline anticipated in domestic production.

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