Catalonia’s exports exceeded €14,000 million in food exports for the first time in 2022.
. This figure represents an increase of 15.30% compared to 2021. The data was provided by the Generalitat’s Department for Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, based on data published by AEAT (Tax Office of the State Administration Agency).
Decrease in value due to lower production of fruits and grains, due to weather conditions and conflict in Ukraine
On the other hand, it is worth noting the decrease in volume (-4.23%) that responds to the impact of lower production of the fruit and vegetable sector (due to weather factors) and grain and milling (which are directly affected by the conflict in Ukraine and used this in 2022 for self-consumption).
In fact, leaving aside these two sectors, exports from the agri-food sector remain in positive volume (+0.17%). However, it is a figure below the average for the country (-6.01%) and in line with the European Union.
The demand for Catalan products abroad is increasing, which maintains the trade surplus in the agri-food sector
“There is a demand for Catalan food beyond our borders, and more and more Catalan companies are in a position to offer quality products that compete on equal terms with a highly demanded global supply,” the data minister said in the data presentation. Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda from the Generalitat, Teresa Gorda.
“This data shows that Catalonia is a global exporter of food and beverages, ahead of countries such as Portugal, Greece, Peru, Colombia, Sweden and Japan,” added Jorda.
In this sense, the agro-food sector leads all Catalan exports and remains the engine of the Catalan economy (with a weight of €43,088 million, this sector represents 19.2% of Catalan GDP). Proof of this is that one out of every seven euros that Catalonia exports comes from agro-food exports (15.64%).
Currently, foreign agro-food sales in Catalonia are equivalent to 6.47% of Catalan GDP. In addition, Catalonia maintains the agri-food trade surplus it achieved for the first time in 2019, with a coverage rate of 104.86% in 2022, thanks in part to improvements in efficiency and competitive improvement of companies in the sector.
If we compare it with other territories, Catalonia again leads the foreign trade of agrifood for the Spanish state and exports foodstuffs above the average for the country as a whole (+13.20%) and for the EU as a whole (+11.82%). Sales of Catalan agro-food products abroad during 2022 account for almost a quarter of the state’s total agro-food exports 22.18%.
Sectors integrate a volume-to-value path
starting from Agro-Food Export Promoter Index (Prodica) which regroups the different sub-headings of the TARIC code into 7 sub-sectors to simplify the analysis of agro-food exports, all sectors are growing in value except for the fruit and orchards sector (-4.35%). Due to a drop in production due to last year’s frost. The most exporting sectors are still meat and good food which represent 35.25% and 28.70%, respectively.
Meat, fine foods and vegetable oils are in the top three in terms of commercial value
Meat increases the value by 13.88% and becomes less dependent on the Chinese market and diversified to other markets. China remains the main destination for Catalan pork despite the fact that this market has reduced its global imports by 53% and Catalan imports by 35%.
Pork (61.78% of the meat sector) practically maintains export volume (-0.39%) and increases value (+11.54%). Sausages and processed products show a very good increase, both in volume (+14.15%) and in value (+22.98%).
As for luxury food, it remains the second export sector with a turnover of 4,275.64 million euros, an increase of 18.42% over 2021 and a volume increase of 3.65%.
Vegetable oils came in third place, replaced by fruits and orchards, and became the fourth export sector. In this segment, olive oil stands out, representing 35.61% of the turnover of this segment and increasing 38.66% in value and 12.42% in volume, positively affected by sales in the US, as Catalonia has managed to regain leadership positions in the US. The oil market after overcoming the effects of tariffs.
Cereals and milling decreased in terms of export volume, while kava and wine increased in value together
Cereals and mills decreased in export volume (-10.63%) due to the lack of grain as a result of the conflict in Ukraine (the few grains that are usually exported for self-consumption were generally used).
The value also increased by 20.98% as a result of the increase in seed sales, which represent more than 77% of the grain and milling sector’s export intensity in terms of value (77.06%) and volume (77.10%). .)
Regarding the wine and cava sector, in general it grew by 1.97% in terms of value despite a decrease in volume by 2.77% (the decline in average volume in the European Union was 8.67%, France reduced its export volume by 9.97% and Italy 7.41.% ).
Specifically, kava is holding together as the driving force of the sector with 50.34% in value and 55.09% in export volume and growing by 5.11% in value and 6.75% in volume. On the other hand, wine declined by -3.23% in value and -17.38% in volume due to declines in the two main destination markets, the UK and the US, which accounted for more than 28%.
Finally, the fish and shellfish sector consolidates the upward trend and is growing for the second year in a row (13.52% in value and 15.39% in volume).
Catalonia exports food and beverages to nearly 200 countries
The number of countries it is exported to remains stable (198). France continued to be the top receiving country, while Italy became the second destination, overtaking China, which took third place, followed by Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
The European Union continues to be the beneficiary of practically half of Catalan agro-food exports (55.85%), with a growth of 20.06%. The rest of the exports (44.15%) are destined for third markets.
There are significant increases in the regions of Latin America (39.03%), North America (28.47%), the Middle East (23.66%), and Oceania (60.01%) as well as slight decreases in Africa (-1.34%) and Asia (-0.37%).
Regarding the number of exporting companies in the agro-food sector, Catalonia has 4.9% more regular exporting companies (those that have accumulated at least 4 consecutive years of sales abroad), amounting to 2905 (+130 companies).
The agri-food sector is committed to internationalization
The agro-food sector has shown great export strength in recent years and is the only economic sector that has maintained a sustainable growth in international sales, overcoming various adversities that have affected international trade.
Catalan agro-food remains Catalonia’s third economic export sector below semi-finished products and capital goods with which it fills the gap.
Thus, proving its competitiveness in foreign markets due to its added value, Catalan agro-food exports have grown in the last ten years by 89.88% in value and 28.40% in volume.
In this sense, the Food Secretary in the Climate Action Division, Food and Rural Agenda, Carmel Midall “The internationalization of agri-food and exports acts as a tug of the primary market, as the processing industry seeks valuable local products for the most demanding markets,” he stressed.
Midol also stated that “The Department is committed, through Prodica, to the commercialization of agri-food as a tool for the economic and social development of the territory and its people. Therefore, we very positively appreciate the commitment to strengthening the network of antennas and mandates in strategic markets to continue creating opportunities for the sector.”
Prodeca, at the service of Catalan companies
During the presentation, an evaluation of the 2022 actions in the field of international marketing was made by Prodeca. The public entity has carried out more than 60 international business activities, including participation in international exhibitions, business meetings, point of sale promotions, trade catalogs and promotional actions “Catalan Food and Business Forum”, which registered 1700 companies and a loyalty rate close to 50% (repeated Half of the companies for which Prodeca provided their services in one or more procedures).
“From the department, through Prodeca, we have provided service to one in four companies in the sector, diversifying services and types of procedures, giving great importance to business meetings: in the last year we have organized more than 750 meetings between Catalan producers and international buyers from the most from 15 markets. We have strengthened the presence of commercial agents in strategic markets, with the aim of accompanying Catalan agro-food companies in their international promotion process “, stated Prodeca’s general manager, Ramon Sentmartí.
In keeping with the purpose of guiding agro-food companies in their international expansion, Prodeca has promoted the accompaniment of companies directly to the destination markets, with experienced professionals in the sector, both in Catalonia and in the country of destination.
In the year 2022, the entity has created a network through Deviation del Governance i Intense in strategic markets to strengthen advice and support for companies that want to establish or strengthen their presence in these countries, especially in Mexico, Germany, the United States, America, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, China and South Korea Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.
Prodeca sets out to operate in new strategic countries by 2023, and the agro-food export scale is launched
For 2023, Prodeca has scheduled its work in 13 target markets and strategic countries which currently account for more than half of global food consumption and a growth potential of more than 13% for the next three years.
These markets are Germany, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, the United States, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, China and the countries of the Mediterranean Basin. Prodeca has proposed to promote its projects in these markets and specific commercial actions, such as the organization of the “Catalan Food Business Forum” to be held in Barcelona from 12 to 14 June.
Finally, a new innovation is the launch of the agro-food export barometer, a tool for the quarterly monitoring of turnover figures most relevant to the export activity of the agri-food sector in Catalonia.
The first wave of Baròmeter is scheduled to be published at the beginning of April and will collect key data on the activity, products and destinations of Catalan agro-food companies for the first quarter of 2023. Baròmeter will obtain qualitative data from a panel of 100 representative companies and complement the quantitative results of export data for the sector as a whole.