Country Focus Data:Spain
June 01, 1995
by Mindy Dake
The Kingdom of Spain, in southwestern Europe, borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital is Madrid.
Demography: Population (1994), 39.4 million, 0.25% annual growth rate (1994 estimate); 70% urban; Castilian Spanish language; Roman Catholic religion.
Geography: 504,750 square km total area; 4,964 km coastline; temperate climate.
Government: Parliamentary monarchy. Chief of state is King Juan Carlos I, head of government is Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez Marquez.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture.
Economy: Capitalist. Agriculture accounts for about 5% of gross domestic product and employs 14% of the labor force. Receipts from livestock and poultry make up 40% of total agricultural value, followed by horticultural crops at 35% and field crops at 25%.
G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$12,700 (1993 estimate).
Currency: the peseta. April 13, 1995 exchange rate: 122.98 pesetas per U.S. dollar.
Major crops: Wheat, barley, maize, vegetables, citrus fruit.
Wheat: Annual wheat production in the past five years has averaged 4.7 million tonnes, with use during the same period averaging about 5.2 million. Feed use on average comprises some 24% of total use each year.
Barley: Spain has produced an annual average of 8.3 million tonnes of barley in the past five years, and annual average consumption has been 7.7 million. Spain exports an average of 700,000 tonnes each year.
Barley is Spain's primary feed grain, but its use is highly dependent on its price in relation to substitutes; small increases in barley prices can lead to large decreases in use.
Maize: Because of its generally arid climate, much of Spain's maize is irrigated. Farmers who use intensive production and sophisticated irrigation systems typically attain yields of more than 10 tonnes per ha; non-irrigated maize generally yields fewer than 4 tonnes.
Spain's maize area and production have declined in recent years, as price levels and water restrictions have reduced profitability of this crop. Annual production peaked at slightly more than 3.5 million tonnes in the late 1980s and has averaged 2.5 million in the past five years. Spain imports about 1.7 million tonnes of maize annually.
Livestock: Spain's annual per capita consumption of beef and veal, at 13.1 kilograms in 1994, is the lowest among European Union countries. In contrast, the country's per capita poultry meat consumption, 24.12 kg in 1994, is the E.U.'s highest, and its 54.2 kg in per capita pork consumption is third highest, behind Denmark and Belgium-Luxembourg.
Spain's beef and veal production in 1994 totaled 504,000 tonnes, carcass weight equivalent, with pork production coming in at 2.2 million tonnes. Poultry production was 860,000 tonnes, ready-to-cook equivalent, with about 91% of that broiler production. Roughly 100,000 tonnes of poultry meat are imported annually.
Transportation: 15,430 km of railroads, with all but 918 km government operated; 318,022 km of highways, with 178,092 paved; major ports include Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Malaga and Valencia.