Spain: Fish and Seafood Market Brief

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By Milthon Lujan

USA.- Spain is one of the largest markets worldwide for fish and seafood. In 2016, Spain was the fourth largest importer of fish and seafood in the world after the United States, Japan and China. Spain not only has the largest fish processing industry in Europe, but also has a high per capita consumption and a high per capita expenditure on fish and seafood products.

Furthermore, Spanish fish and seafood production through commercial fishing and aquaculture is not sufficient to meet domestic demand and imports remain a key element in meeting market demand. Top sellers from the United States in 2016 included lobsters, surimi, Alaska Pollock and squid.


Spain is a net importer of fish and seafood and sources from ninety-five countries around the world. In 2016, Spain’s imports of fish and seafood from all origins were $6.33 billion, up 12.52 percent from $5.62 billion in 2015. The United States was the sixteenth largest exporter of seafood products to Spain. The largest seafood supplying country in 2016 was Morocco at $592 million, followed by Argentina at $460 million, and France at $459 million. Total imports from the United States were valued at $134 million, almost the same amount as previous year. The first ten countries of origin accounted for fifty-six percent of Spain’s total seafood imports in 2016.


Total Spanish exports in 2016 reached $3.15 billion, up just over nine percent compared to previous year. Imports are expected to continue to outpace exports ensuring that Spain remains an important market for all U.S. seafood suppliers.

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Spain is the third largest fish and seafood consumer in the EU, with 46.2 kg per capita per year. Fish and seafood hold a significant place in the traditional diet and are viewed as a healthy and nutritious habit. Fish is consumed in all the possible ways: fresh, frozen, processed, in brine, even raw due to the fashionable Japanese influence. All these factors put together create interesting opportunities for U.S. exporters of all kinds.

Reference (open):
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 2017. Spain: Fish and Seafood Market Brief. Global Agricultural Information Network.

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