Country Focus Data: Spain

by Melissa Alexander
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Capital: Madrid.

Demography: Population 40 million, 0.11% growth rate (2000 estimates); Castillian Spanish, Catalan languages; Roman Catholic religion.

Geography: Southwestern Europe, bordered by France on the northeast, Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean on the west, and the Mediterranean Sea on the south and east.

Government: Parliamentary monarchy. Head of government is Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, chief of state is King Juan Carlos.

Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under Minister Miguel Arias Canete.

Economy: Spain’s market economy, the 12th largest in the world, is organized around the urban centers of Madrid and Barcelona. Spain enjoys one of the most industrialized and open economies in Europe, allowing full participation of foreign capital in almost all the sectors of the economy. Spain’s services sector has grown steadily and now dominates the economy, mostly at the expense of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector, which accounted for just 3.6% of GDP in 2000. The major economic policy challenge facing the government will be to maintain a balance between national fiscal policy and monetary policy in the euro area, and to ensure that unemployment continues to fall without stimulating inflation.

G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$17,300 (purchasing power parity), 3.6% growth rate, 2.3% inflation, 16% unemployment (all 1999 estimates).

Currency: Spanish peseta. June 12, 2001 exchange rate: 197.3 pesetas per U.S. dollar.

Exports: U.S.$112.3 billion (f.o.b. 1999), machinery, foodstuffs, other consumer goods.

Imports: U.S.$137.5 billion (f.o.b.1999), machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals.

Major crops/agricultural products: Wheat, coarse grains, barley, olives, wine grapes.

Wheat: Production from 1997-2000 averaged 5.5 million tonnes annually, up from the 4.3 million annual average from 1990-1994. Imports in the past five years averaged 3.3 million year versus 1.9 million in the early 1990s, while total annual use from 1997-2000 averaged 8 million against 5.4 million in the early 1990s.

Coarse grains: Average annual production in the past five years was 14.6 million tonnes, with imports in the same period averaging 3.7 million a year and total use averaging 17.5 million. Feed use averaged 11.1 million tonnes.

Transportation: Highways, 346,858 km, 343,389 paved; rail, 13,950 km, mostly 1.668-m gauge; ports include Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz.

(1,000 tonnes)

Production

Consumption

Exports

Imports

Wheat

5,500

7,950

400

2,900

Flour

2.55

NA

NA

NA

Maize

4,500

7,500

150

3,300

Total coarse grains

15,165

18,605

625

3,865

2000-01 marketing year estimates for wheat, maize, coarse grains; 1998 for flour.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, International Grains Council

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