The meat sector is one of the key sectors of the Catalan economy, ranking fourth as an industrial sector and as the main agri-food sector in Catalonia. It represents a turnover of more than 8.4 billion euros, more than 32% of the entire Spanish food sector. It represents 21.6% of the Catalan industrial GDP and 4% of the total GDP of the whole of Catalonia. This is summed up by Fomento del Treball in a note after the controversy with the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón.
The Catalan meat sector recorded sales of 4,592 million euros abroad in 2020, 13.90% more than in 2019. In volume, the increase in meat exports has been 11.68%, with 1,851,339.13 tons, according to data from PRODECA, contributing a positive balance to the Catalan trade balance of more than 1800%.
Among the different species, pork stands out, which represents 66.18% of the export value of the meat sector and 26.58% of the total value of exports. This sector grows by 15.19% especially thanks to exports to China, which becomes the leading market for the sector surpassing France – a country that had usually led purchases – and Japan. This increase in pigs contributes positively to the annual rate of change in exports by 56%.
During 2020, meat production in Catalonia grew by 5% to reach the figure of 2,519,179 tons of meat that came from Catalan slaughterhouses. The pig species recorded the best data, with an increase of 6.8%, already representing 80% of total production.