Sales of Portuguese Cork Products
Portugal is the largest international producer and exporter of cork, currently exporting more then 806 million euros per year in products (chart 1). For this reason, the cork industry is a key element of the Portuguese manufacturing sector. Suffice it to say that 90% of the cork produced in Portugal is for the foreign market and only 10% for the domestic market, taking into account that 40% of Portuguese businesses are exporters. In global terms 62% of the world cork trade derives from Portuguese cork.
Chart 1 - Source: INE - Instituto Nacional da Estatistica (National Statistics Institute)
The value generated by Portuguese cork exports is considerable, more then 2 % of the Portuguese exports’ total value and about 30% of the Portuguese forestry product exports.
Concerning the representability per country of the combined cork exports, it is noteworthy that cork represents more than 35% of the value exported to Argentina. For Chile this value surpasses 26 percent (Chart 2).
Chart 2 - Source: INE
Portuguese cork products are exported to countries all over the world.
The main destinations are France (20,1%), USA (15,6%), Spain (11%), Italy (9,5%) and Germany (7,9%) - percentage in value (Chart 3).
Chart 3 - Source: INE
Cork stoppers continue to lead Portuguese cork exports, reaching a value of 563 millions euros, followed by cork building materials at 179 millions euros (Chart 4).
Chart 4 - Source: INE
Within the cork stopper segment, natural cork stoppers rise in first place, with 351 million euros, followed by other stoppers, with 109 million euros (Chart 5).
Chart 5 - Source: INE
Portugal is still the world’s greatest importer of cork, which is processed and subsequently exported as final consumer products.
In 2011, imports reached 135 million euros and 63 thousand tonnes (Chart 6).
Chart 6 - Source: INE
The imports for the cork industry in 2011 originated essentially from Spain (78 per cent - value in euros) (Chart 7).
Chart 7 - Source: INE
In the same year, natural cork imports reached approximately 94 million euros, representing about 69% of the total Portuguese cork imports (Chart 8).
For more detailed and specialised information on the Cork Industry in Portugal, see the Yearbook 2011 or the document Estudo de Caracterização Sectorial 2011 (only in portuguese) .