The pig sector is the main cattle one in Spain. Pig production is the first Spanish meat industry, and represents more than 80% of the meats of ungulates produced in our country. The pig sector accounted for 36.8% of Final Livestock Production and 14% of Final Agricultural Production. Expressed in current euros, the value reached by the pork sector in 2014 amounted to 5,923.5 million euros at basic prices. The number of animals slaughtered in 2014 amounted to 43.2 million head, with a production of 3.58 million tons of meat.

Meat production was concentrated in Catalonia (43.1%), Castilla y León (14%), Castilla-La Mancha (8.4%) and Aragon (8.4%). The bulk of these farms (more than 68,800) are farmed intensive pig farms, while the rest were mixed production (intensive-extensive) or directly extensive. By the end of 2014 the pork census of meat production was around 26.55 million head, compared to 25.5 million in 2013. Of this total census, 10.2 million were bait pigs and 7.8 million were pigs.

In terms of the number of farms, in 2014, Galicia (31.8%), Andalusia (14.4%) and Extremadura (15.7%) stood out the most, while the number of heads on the farms stood out in Catalonia with more than 6.3 million animals, Aragon (4.9 million), Castilla y León (2.9 million) and Castilla-La Mancha (2.7 million). This lack of coincidence between the regions with more farms and those that have more livestock is due to the fact that in the latter, intensive farms predominate. With this production volume, which accounts for 3.4% of world production, Spain has already consolidated in recent years as the fourth largest producer of pork in the world (exporting around 1.5 million tonnes), behind China (which alone produces 50% of pork from around the world); (10% of world production) and Germany (5.3%), and ahead of Brazil (3.1%), Russia and Vietnam (2% each) and Canada (1.7%). It is the second producer in European Union behind Denmark and ahead of France (9%), Poland (8%), Italy (7%) and Netherlands (6%). The European Union as a whole is the world’s second largest producer, accounting for 21.4% of the total. The countries that stood out for their production were Germany with 18% of the total, Spain with 16% and France with 9%. In 2014, pork production was slightly above that of the previous year, reaching 22.2 million tonnes. The pork census in 2014 exceeded 147.7 million head. Of this total, 18% were in Spain and 19% in Germany, which was again the European country with the largest swine hut.

Other countries that stand out for their pig census are France, Poland and Denmark. In terms of meat production, the European countries that contributed most in 2014 were Denmark (18%), Spain (16%) and France (9%). Worldwide, early meat production exceeded 110.3 million tonnes.

Regarding foreign trade, total exports of pork from Spain rose to 1.5 million tonnes in 2014. The bulk of sales were made to EU countries (1.13 million tonnes). 70% of the pork that Spain exported to the EU in 2014 was meat and the rest of the offal, piglets, etc. Also, the country most exported was France (30%), followed by Portugal (21%).

In terms of imports, a total of 225,793 tonnes entered the Spanish market, while in the previous year some 223,154 tonnes had been purchased. The largest share came from the EU countries. In addition to the white-coat pig, in Spain there is also an important production of Iberian pig. In 2014 the animal census was around 2.3 million heads, a figure significantly higher than that of the previous year. Meat production rose to 374,000 tonnes and the number of pigs traded in 2014 stood at 2.38 million head. Of this total, 2.22 million were Iberian pigs and the remaining pure Iberians. Meat production rose to 374,000 tonnes. Once again, Castilla y León was the region with the highest number of troops, followed by Extremadura, Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha.

The quality of Spanish hams and sausages has been recognized in foreign markets, which has allowed the export of more than 80,000 tonnes of hams and sausages in 2014, worth 384.4 million euros. In 2014 pig products were exported to 134 countries.

About the author

Montse Gonzalez