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Struggling Spanish Economy Affecting Beef Consumption

05 November 2013

SPAIN - Spanish beef consumption continues to be affected by some dampening in consumer confidence in response to rising unemployment and the increase in VAT according to Cecilia Ruiz of Bord Bia-Irish Food Board in Madrid.

This has prompted some shift towards discounter outlets and Private Label.

This is having some impact on beef imports, with market access issues for exports also limiting demand for imports.

Households beef consumption has decreased by over 5 per cent in the first six months of the year leaving per capita consumption below 6kg.

Cattle supplies fell by almost two per cent (44.000hds) to around 2.6 million head during the same period.

Exports have fallen by just over a quarter to 54,300 tonnes for the first half of 2013 compared to 2012 levels.

Exports are being affected by the closure of the Russian market and the drop in exports to Turkey

Similar to the overall decline in national beef imports, Irish beef imports for the first eight months of 2013 have fallen by around two per cent to 9,700 tonnes compared to corresponding 2012 levels.

Some decrease in beef imports is likely next year given the 18 per cent increase in live cattle imports for the first half of 2013, reflecting some increase in producer confidence following lower cereal prices that have materialised over the past few months.

Up until the middle of October, Ireland shipped around 35,300 cattle to Spain, which represents growth of around 142 per cent compared with the same period last year. The majority of these animals exported to Spain are calves.

However, Irish beef remains very well positioned in Spain, featuring on the top four Spanish retail chains.

To help boost further awareness of Irish beef across Spain. Bord Bia is currently running Quality Irish Beef Tastings in a 100 El Corte Inglés and Hipercor stores at national level.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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