After an exhaustive search through credible sources, it appears that there is not sufficient information available in the public domain to determine how much hay is consumed by each of the categories listed in columns AM through AQ of the attached spreadsheet for Spain.
Hay market in Spain
- In 2019, Spanish exports for alfalfa hay were valued at $54.54 million, with an expected CAGR of 5.3% between 2020 and 2025. Spain serves as one of the top exporters of alfalfa hay globally with the highest market share. Alfalfa meal and pellets accounted for 18.7% of the total exports in Spain in 2019.
- In 2015, Spain exported approximately 200-kilo tons of Alfalfa Hay.
- The alfalfa hay market includes the sale of bales, pellets, and cubes. Applications for the products include meat/dairy animal feed, poultry, horse feed, and other animal types.
- As reported by the FAO, the market's growth is driven by an increase in livestock in Spain, with the cattle and bull population increasing from 6.46 million in 2017 to 6.51 million in 2018. Also, the export sales of alfalfa hay from Spain increase due to the nutritional properties the product offers with 15-22% crude protein.
- "Spain's is the EU-28 largest dry fodder producer and exporter. Dry conditions prevailing in MY2017/18 limited production, and consequently, export possibilities during that season. Despite the industry's lower overall plantings, a marginal recovery in dried fodder production levels is anticipated for MY2018/19 due to better yields, particularly in non-irrigated land."
- The initial segment of MY2018/19 was held up by three weeks due to rains and mild spring temperatures, which delayed the crop's development and lengthened the MY2017/18 season. Eventually, the season concluded with minimal stock levels. Regarding quality, the overabundance of water was damaging to the MY2018/19 initial cut.
- Meanwhile, dry conditions at the start of the summer season facilitated a qualitative recuperation of the summer cuts. Due to a lack of considerable domestic demand, the fodder industry in Spain continues to search for brand-new markets to help broaden its products' destination.
- The Ebro Valley (Aragon and Catalonia) and Castilla y Leon serve as Spain's most significant alfalfa-farming regions. Agricultural techniques vary depending on the alfalfa producing regions.
- Aragon is the most commonly cultivated alfalfa in the Ebro Valley with 75% of it obtained through land under irrigation. It is an export market-oriented the area, and the Port of Barcelona acts as the primary exit port.
- Almost 70% of the alfalfa in Castilla y Leon is non-irrigated, with production being directed towards sustaining the domestic dairy herd. "Tierra de Campos" are the most widely known type of alfalfa being cultivated, and it performs admirably within heavy clay soils.
- In MY2017/18, arid conditions in the complete crop cycle diminished the yield within non-irrigated land, representing close to 30% of Spain's overall alfalfa planted area, as well as accelerated irrigation requirements in irrigated land. Total production levels decreased by 10% over the prior season.
- Most of the Spanish dried alfalfa exports are distributed within a small volume of nations, with the United Arab Emirates serving as the top destination of the nation's dried fodder exports.
- "A shorter Spanish crop in MY2017/18, combined with the stiff competition with U.S. alfalfa in Saudi Arabia, prevented Spanish fodder exports to this market to grow despite its decision to phase out its domestic forage production."
- Spain maintains the greatest market for the export of alfalfa hay in Europe. The country exported approximately 273,000 metric tons of the product in 2015.
- In the United States, the total trade value of alfalfa exceeds Spain's by about USD 5 million. Despite this, Spain's net quantity is higher as the United States produces superior quality crops.
- From 2020 to 2025, the alfalfa hay market in Spain is expected to register a CAGR of 5.3%. The country is one of Europe's most significant alfalfa producers. The demand for alfalfa is expanding in the market because of its high nutritional content. This is bolstering the market as the need for quality feed is growing.
- Spain's major export destinations include France, the U.A.E., and China. Growth in domestic production, the increased demand for hay within the U.A.E. and the Middle East are major factors accelerating the alfalfa hay market in Spain.
Nutrient content export market
- Compared to grass hay, alfalfa hay is higher in both minerals and protein because of its nutritional benefits. Alfalfa is rather high in energy, acting as a great source of minerals and vitamins.
- "It contains between 15 to 22% crude protein and an excellent source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Due to the high nutritional content of alfalfa, the demand is growing across the world."
- Spain was one of the major alfalfa pellets and meal in 2019, as it maintained 18.7% of overall exports.
- In "2019, the amount of feed and pellets exported was 230,851 tons compared to 342,270 tons in 2018. Spain accounted for the export value of USD 54,544 thousand in 2019 compared to USD 76,478 thousand in 2018."
- The major importers for Spain in 2019 were France, the U.A.E., and China, with shares of 19.6%, 14.7%, 12.1% respectively.
We searched through multiple industry reports, white papers, and government reports to find any quantitative forecasts for Spain's hay market. However, we were not able to find any information about the quantity grown in Spain. The majority of the reports focused on the overall hay or alfalfa market, with little information about the amount of hay produced by the country. We also tried to go through some of the country's significant hay producers, but information was also scarce. We were able to find that Spain has the largest market for alfalfa hay export. But the rest of the information from the companies mainly focused on describing the different bale types and their offerings rather than discussing how much they produced.
Furthermore, we searched for useful data points to help us triangulate an answer, including the percentage share of hay consumption for each category, which we could have used with the total amount of hay consumed in the country to calculate an estimate. For this, we explored market reports from sources such as Market Watch, Mordor Intelligence, Research and Markets, etc. We also consulted government sources such as Spain's agriculture department. However, we were unable to locate the relevant data points. Hence, this research strategy failed to produce any results.