The value of sheep-goat production amounted to 845.8 million euros in 2014. The sheep herd remained practically stable from 1992 to 2000 and as of this date, with the reform of the CAP, the trend was reversed and the hut began to gradually decline. By the end of 2014 there were about 16.5 million heads.
The largest sheep censuses are concentrated in Castilla y León, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Andalusia and Aragon. In terms of meat production, there was generally a decrease in both sheep and goats.
There were 112,000 tonnes of sheepmeat (5.8% less) and 8,500 tonnes of goatmeat (3.5% less). The Spanish hut in 2014 reached 20% of the total of the EU-27, surpassed only by the United Kingdom that represents 27%. Spain ranks second in the EU goat population, with 21% of the census, behind Greece.
Regarding the evolution of foreign trade, in 2014 the final balance was positive both volume and economic value, as exports of sheep and goat meat far exceeded imports. In volume, exports amounted to 33,535 tonnes, while meat imports amounted to 8,442 tonnes. The main recipients of national exports of sheepmeat and goatmeat were EU Member States with 97% of the total exported. On the other hand, the main countries from which we imported sheep and goat meat were New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay. As for the evolution of total trade in live animals, in 2014 there was again a significant increase in total exports, but also in imports. Animals were imported for a weight of 6,800 tons and exported for a weight of 31,314 tons. The main volume of movements occurred with the EU and North African countries.
In terms of production in the European Union as a whole, Spain ranked second in 2014 (16% of the total), behind the United Kingdom, whose production represents 32%, and ahead of France with 13% . Other countries with important production are Greece, Ireland, Germany and Italy, which contribute between the four a 22% of the total. In 2014 the production of sheepmeat and goatmeat fell by 1.1%, while prices generally increased by 1.2%, according to the Commission. The value generated by this sub-sector was negative (0.4%). In addition, sheep and goats represented 1.2% of EU Final Agricultural Production in 2014, the lowest percentage of all livestock subsectors. In this regard, for more than a decade the production of sheepmeat and goatmeat in the EU has been losing weight, despite the incorporation of large producing countries such as Romania and Bulgaria. Community production of sheepmeat and goatmeat was around 925,000 tonnes, of which 80% was sheep. The EU is clearly deficient in sheep-goat meat, which is mainly imported from Australia and New Zealand. In recent years the EU is exporting live animals to countries in the Middle East and Africa.

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Montse Gonzalez