Alert of, in the short and medium term, a shortage in the supply of animals and high prices of meat raw materials, especially pork and beef
MADRID, 17 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The National Association of Meat Industries of Spain (Anice), which brings together more than 600 meat companies, has once again called for "extraordinary measures", such as lowering VAT on meat, while warning of the "worrisome future economy" of the sector, which is experiencing a historic rise in prices of meat raw materials, stressing the entire livestock-meat chain, he said in a statement.
"We are in the midst of a perfect storm that is affecting a sector that was already very hurt in 2022, despite the good data on exports. It is urgent to adopt a series of extraordinary measures that must inevitably go through lower tax and regulatory pressure, aid to face the escalation of energy costs (as those announced for the primary sector) and a policy of support for the industry that facilitates greater and easier access to Next Generation funds", has demanded the general secretary of Anice, Miguel Huerta.
Huerta has lamented that meat "is not benefiting from the VAT reduction." "We do not know the reasons for not including it and we understand that it should not have a budgetary origin, since the escalation of prices precisely entails a greater collection for the public coffers. During the pandemic we guaranteed a supply that seemed impossible and they considered us essential, but at the moment of truth, families are suffering fiscal discrimination that does not favor the consumption of meat, so important for our diet", he recalled.
Specifically, in the case of pigs, the drop in production in Spain has been less significant in volume (-1% in 2022) than in the rest of the European countries, but Huerta has pointed out that "it is important, because it aims at a change in trend, as it is the first drop in these productions in ten years".
The meat industry has indicated that this situation has its origin in the escalation of production costs, the uncertainties about the evolution of the markets and the growing regulatory pressure, which "harasses and hinders" the opening and expansion of farms, as well as some recently entered into force and others, of sustainability and well-being, which are being developed in Brussels.
In Spain, the price of live pigs has been rising continuously since the beginning of the year, experiencing a year-on-year rise of 47% and almost double (80%) in the case of piglets.
A similar situation is experienced by the beef sector, although prices are stabilizing relatively after months of continuous rises, despite the fact that the 2023 average is at levels higher than those of 2022.
This sector also accuses the shortage of animals derived from the decrease in the number of breeders due to the decline in the dairy census and the low structural profitability of bovine production.
In this way, Anice has indicated that all this points to a situation, in the short and medium term, of scarcity in the supply of animals and high prices of meat raw materials, especially pork and beef.
Apart from raw materials, the meat sector faces other difficulties derived from the high energy costs that last year were 344% higher than in 2019. These have risen again in February strongly (91.91%) compared to the January price, without ruling out new increases throughout the year.
In addition, the new regulatory costs, such as the plastic tax, which Spain has introduced in a pioneering way since January 1, further reduce the profitability expectations of the meat industry.
Meat companies have also shown their concern about the growing pressure of inflation, which has resulted in higher costs of all inputs and also, in an exceptional increase in wage costs.
The Spanish meat sector is made up of 2,800 companies that generate a total of 109,330 direct jobs, most of them in rural areas, mitigating depopulation and thus combating emptied Spain.