Tag Archives: Spain

Scotch whisky

Yesterday I was reading an article in The Economist about the whisky industry, and I found a thread to follow: Spain being the third largest export market of Scotch whisky!

After having travelled through different European countries and seeing the drinking habits in each place I could almost predict that more whisky was consumed here than in other European countries.

I searched for the source of these data, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which published a release in April 15th on the export data from 2009.

Despite the global crisis, whisky exports continued to rise both in terms of revenues and bottles. But let’s dig into the data.

Looking first at the numbers of bottles exported we see that the leading country is France with almost 180 million 70cl bottles, followed by USA and Spain (with 87 million bottles). The first 10 countries account for 60% of the export market.

Because France and USA are more populated than Spain, I was interested in comparing the ratio number of bottles exported by inhabitant… and now the leading country was by far Singapore, with over 10 bottles per inhabitant per year… either there is something we miss in the picture or there is very heavy scotch drinking going on there (taking into account that not everyone drinks whisky, less people imported scotch). Among those 10 main markets Spain again came in third with an average of 1.9 bottles per inhabitant, though we should keep in mind that this number only reflects the bottles exported from Scotland; not whisky consumption in the country (Irish, US or Spanish whisky is not counted here).

Scotch whisky exports, by number of bottles.

There is another statistic given in the same release: revenues. What I wanted to know with this was the export price per bottle.  Not all top ten countries by number of bottles were among the top ten by revenues, but with those which were I did the calculation. The average price resulted 2.9 sterling pounds, around 3.37 €… so the other ~9€ up to the 12€ price you see in the shop are costs related to transportation, retail shops, etc.

Scotch whisky exports, by revenues and bottle price.

In the SWA site you may find very useful information such as distilleries to be visited in Scotland, etc.


Filed under Miscellanea

Largest defence companies

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is, in their own words, an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Every year they publish their famous SIPRI Yearbook with data about international conflicts, defence spending, defence companies…

In a previous post I showed cartograms of countries relative to their defence spending, etc. In this post I want to show a bit about the industry.

From the information of last year’s book, we find that of the 10 world biggest defence companies 6 are US companies and 4 European, though the biggest one is the British BAE Systems.

Among the first hundred companies (121 including subsidiaries) there are 4 Spanish: CASA (EADS), Navantia, Indra and Santa Barbara (General Dynamics). This places Spain as the 7th country by number of large defence companies. SIPRI publishes as well a fact sheet titled “Trends in International Arms Transfer”; in that one (data from 2005-2009) Spain is placed as the 8th country by arms exports.

Countries by number of large defence companies.

Countries by defence sales.

Finally, with the information provided by SIPRI I built the following (simplified) table where you may see which are the biggest defence companies by revenues and see how much of their business is relying on defence activities (big conglomerates like GE or UTC do not rely heavily on defence).

Defence companies by defence revenues and reliance on defence.

It is also interesting to look at the previous picture but isolating only the US companies…

US Defence companies by defence revenues and reliance on defence.

… and then taking a look at European ones:

European Defence companies by defence revenues and reliance on defence.

You may see that the top-right corner is almost exclusive domain of US companies, except for BAE, which has a big presence in the US defence market.

In this latest table you would see how the complete picture (with all 121 companies) would look like, with an atomization of smaller companies at the bottom.

Complete picture with 121 companies.


Filed under Aerospace & Defence

Aerospace, a high-tech sector in Spain

Two years ago, there was a televised debate prior to the general elections in Spain. I remember I was watching it with friends and the incumbent president said “Spain is the leader country in the technology of air refuelling aircraft”. Since those friends watching the debate with me and I work in the aerospace sector we appreciated the comment.

Many things have happened since them, but one has not changed: aerospace sector is one of the most technologically intense in Spain.

For this post I am using mainly two sources: 2008 annual report from ATECMA (Asociación Española de Constructores de Material Aeroespacial, now replaced by TEDAEAsociación Española de Tecnologías de Defensa, Aeronáutica y Espacio; 2009 report is being cooked) and 2009 report from COTEC (a foundation for technological innovation, “Informe Cotec 2009“).

I already mentioned in a previous post the size of aerospace sector in Spain: 5,577M€ revenues in 2008. In the last 10 years aerospace revenues in Spain have trebled. In 2008 Spanish GDP was about 1,088 bn€, so aerospace sector weighed 0.51% of Spanish economy.

Aerospace sector revenues and R&D evolution.

Regarding the employment, there were 36.160 employees of which over 15,000 were graduates, engineers and managers; 41% of the workforce consists of highly qualified employees. The employment of the sector has been doubled in the last 10 years.

Aerospace sector has presence in 16 regions, with the highest contribution from Madrid (63% of revenues and 57% of employment).

Aerospace sector revenues and employment per region.

There were 335 companies: 6 employing over 1,000 workers and 318 SMEs.

The sector had a positive trade balance of 3.6bn€ (while Spain has a large negative trade balance, of about 100bn$ prior to the crisis, now around 70bn$, 4.5% of GDP).

Aerospace industry is a dual industry: companies involved in it develop both civil and military products. The weight of each depends on the different years, but on average Spanish aerospace industry is 60% civil and 40% military.

After this brief description of some facts (see ATECMA report for a more detailed view of the sector), I want to remark the technological intensity of the sector.

Aerospace sector invests about 10-15% of its revenues in R&D. This is by itself an impressive, figure: Spanish economy as a whole invested in 2007 1.27% in R&D, thus aerospace invests 10 times as much as the economy average. If we said that the weight of the sector was 0.51% of Spanish economy, the aerospace R&D represents 5% of national R&D investments. Even more, if we only count R&D executed by companies, aerospace R&D contributed with 8.5% of total private R&D.

I included in this post the report from COTEC because it makes a distinction among the different sectors dedicated to technology in Spain: manufacturing vs. services, and high technology vs. medium-high. It uses categories derived from INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), and there we see 6 sectors classified as “High Technology Manufacturing Sectors”:

  • Pharma
  • Office material and computers equipment
  • Electronics components
  • Radio, TV and communication devices
  • Medical, precision, optics devices and watches
  • Aerospace

R&D investments of high-technology sectors.

Combining the data from this report with data from ATECMA (using 2007 figures for comparison with COTEC), we reach the following findings:

  • Aerospace sector revenues represented 15% of high-tech manufacturing sectors.
  • High-tech manufacturing sectors invested 1.3bn€ in R&D in 2007, this is 4.5% of their revenues, or 10% of total R&D in Spain.
  • Aerospace sector R&D represented 49% of high-tech manufacturing sectors R&D (!).

Indeed, it seems a high-tech sector.

If you wish to compare Spanish A&D with other European countries, please see the ASD reports (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe).

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Filed under Aerospace & Defence