Spain produces about 3.1 million tonnes of flour which has traditionally been sold to the domestic market, although in recent times there has been a clear commitment to internationalization, with export figures of some 214,000 tonnes. 75% of the flour produced in our country is used for bread making in the bakery industries and the remaining percentage goes to pastry, pastry, biscuits, baby foods, pizzas, pre-cooked dishes, etc. In addition, some 292,000 tonnes of semolina are produced from about 450,000 tonnes of durum wheat. This semolina is mainly intended for the production of pasta (89% of the total produced). Exports of semolina accounted for about 43,000 tonnes of semolina sold outside our borders, of which 60% constitutes intra-EU foreign trade. World production of flour is around 500 million tons. The main producers are China, India, Russia, the United States and Pakistan. The top 10 countries account for 60% of total flour production. Half of the wheat consumed by the Spanish flour industry comes from abroad, which is a challenge for the sector which, despite this negative circumstance, manages to maintain remarkable export rates. There are just under 130 factories producing flour and semolina, of which 94% is made up of flour industries, the remaining 6% per semoleras. In general, these are small and medium-sized enterprises of a family nature, mostly in rural areas. The joint workforce of all these companies is about 3,000 workers, resulting in an average of 20 employees per production center. The penetration of international capital in this sector is irrelevant. Castilla y León is the autonomous community where there is a greater number of these companies, with 18.3% of the total. Then Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha, with a similar percentage in both cases of 15.8%, Catalonia (13.3%), Aragon (9.2%) and the Community of Valencia (8.3%).

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Montse Gonzalez