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China supersedes U.S. in food and beverage imports

Staff writer |
According to a study by the IESE Business School and Deloitte, China has replaced the United States as the country that offers the most opportunities to food and beverages exports.

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The report "Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2016" analyzes the markets offering the greatest export and business opportunities to the companies in the sector and identifies which are the most attractive ones.

China ranks first in the Attractiveness Index because it is the country with the largest population, with the largest middle class in the world, and with the best growth prospects regarding future spending.

In addition, the report states, China has cities that are so populated that they are similar to some countries' markets. Shanghai alone, has 23 million inhabitants.

The United States, which ranked second, is one of the largest importers of food and beverages in the world. It is also the third country with the largest population, and one of the top ten countries with the most secure and flexible framework for business and export.

Germany, which ranked third, is notable for its level of spending on food and beverage imports and the clear growth of its middle class, which currently represent more than 82% of the country's households.

Spain, which is in a process of recovery and increasing its GDP, continues to be an attractive market and occupied the thirteenth position in this ranking. "In 2015 Spain reduced its food and beverage imports by 12%, however it is still a good destination to export," stated the report.

China has become the most important export market in the world for bakery products and cereals, while the United States is the most important export market for fish, fruits, and vegetables. Japan imports the most meat, and India buys oil and sugar products.

The report shows that Spain's biggest markets are the European countries, as it exports 70% of its food and beverage to them, and the African market, where it ships 10% of its food and beverages exports.

Asia and Latin America concentrate 6% of Spanish exports each, and the United States and Australia monopolize another 4%, respectively.

Spain's most important export products are fruits, vegetables, meat, and oil. According to the study, 67.4% of the food and beverage sector's sales in Spain are done through large distributors, like Mercadona, Carrefour and Dia. The restaurants are another important distribution channel, as they account for 30.8% of sales. Small Spanish businesses only account for 1.8% of sales.

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