The balance of the crisis for the food sector has been relatively positive although Spain has been one of the countries worst affected by the pandemic. Food manufacture, a key industry for the supply of the population, had to face, together with the logistics and distribution sectors, an unusual increase in demand during the first weeks of lockdown.

Título Bankia
Spain has been under one of the strictest lockdowns in the world since PM Sánchez declared the state of emergency on 14 March, with citizens only allowed out to buy food or medicines or visit de doctor. On 21 June, movement restrictions across the country were eliminated, although mandatory masks and social distancing continue.

After more than three months in lockdown, the Spanish agro food sector has been one of the least affected by the confinement. However, the closure of the borders that prevented the entry of tourists harmed the food sector, since food consumption outside the home accounts for a third of its total turnover; some subsectors allocate 100% of their production to the HORECA channel.

According to the figures provided by the sectoral organization FIAB, in 2020, the sector’s production will fall by between 4% (more optimistic scenario: no resurgence of the virus) and 8% (if there is a second wave of the virus in the autumn). Depending on the scenario, this would translate into lower revenues, up to 115-110 billion euros; in the worst case, it would mean a return to 2016 levels.

This association of food and beverage manufacturers is also very negative in its forecast for the sector’s exports, expecting falls of 6-11% year-on-year in 2020 as a whole. In any case, this possible deterioration is not observed in the data available for this year; food exports are one of the few items that have improved in recent months.

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