Portuguese cork exports reached a record value of €1.133 billion in 2021, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2020 and 7 percent compared to 2019, announced the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR).
“These values result from growth in the more value-added product segments, which allows the cork sector to resume the growth line of the pre-pandemic phase, further reinforcing Portugal’s world leadership in this sector”, says the secretary- APCOR's general manager, João Rui Ferreira, quoted in a press release.
Based on these results, the association reaffirms the objective of reaching the goal of 1.500 billion euros of exports in 2030, taking advantage of the “global context highly favourable to cork”, which it highlights as “a natural, versatile and environmentally friendly material, which allows us to respond perfectly to the paradigm of sustainability, both in the environmental, social and economic aspects”.
Top destinations for cork
According to the association, the generalized growth in the main markets contributed to the record reached last year, with emphasis on the first two: France, the world's largest exporter of wines, and the US, the world's largest economy and the largest consumer of wine, each representing around 18% of total exports.
In the “top 10” of destinations for Portuguese cork exports, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, Chile and Russia then appear.
According to the association, the wine industry “continues to be the main customer of the sector and, in 2021, in a historic and record way, cork stoppers exceeded 800 million euros of exports, with a weight of 73% of the total, which demonstrates their clear preference for this material”.
Also noteworthy was the good performance in the area of construction and design, “where cork, due to its physical and environmental characteristics, is a unique material and continues to gain space”, having grown by more than 12% over the previous year, refers.
Founded in 1956, APCOR currently represents 250 companies, responsible for 80% of the sector's total turnover and 85% of Portuguese cork exports.