SPAIN - Whilst egg exports from Spain are doing extremely well, broiler production is expected to remain level through this year and the next due to low returns, according to the latest report from the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
Since 2007, there has been a downward trend in the number of broiler farms in Spain, but the remaining farms have become more effective and efficient. Feed price decreases and an expected higher demand on domestic consumption led to an increase in broiler production by 10 per cent in 2014 compared with the previous year.
However, it is expected for 2015 and 2016 that Spanish broiler production will remain flat, mainly due to the low economic margins received by broiler producers. Producers report that the retail chains are pressing too much on final prices to broiler producers, which is causing the closure of many farms.
The report says Spanish broiler production represents 11.1 per cent of the total EU broiler meat production, the fourth European producer after Poland, UK and Germany.
Regarding egg production, Spain has restructured the egg sector after the implementation of the last EU Animal Welfare regulation in 2012, and 93 per cent of egg farms use enriched cages.
Spain’s egg production registers a structural surplus of eggs that in 2014 reached almost 123 per cent, even though the country produced 1 per cent less eggs than the previous year.
Spain is then a net exporter of eggs and in 2014 exports were up 21 per cent with 187,000 tons.
Spanish egg per capita consumption was reported at 13.1 kg/year, continuing a downward trend of recent years, making egg exports even more important.
Spain started exporting eggs to the United States in July 2015 in response to the shortage of eggs caused by the avian influenza outbreaks. Approximately 6 per cent of Spanish egg exports are now going to the United States, representing the largest country exporting eggs to the US.