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Spanish cigarettes market showing signs of stabilisation after years of decline

RBR Staff Writer Published 28 May 2015

Following declines of upwards of 10% in year-on-year cigarette consumption since 2009, a decrease of just 1.5% in 2014 indicates some degree of stabilisation across the Spanish cigarettes market, finds a new report by Canadean.

Since the global economic downturn in 2008, consumption of duty paid cigarettes declined by 48.2% to reach just under 47 billion pieces in 2014. According to Canadean, this is due to consumers increasingly turning to roll-your-own, non-duty paid and contraband cigarettes. The number of contraband cigarettes, for example, rose from just 500 million in 2008 to over 4.5 billion in 2014.

However, the overall legitimate sales value in the Spanish cigarettes market increased by 0.2% to reach over US$11 billion last year. Moreover, volume sales only shrank by 1.5% in 2014 - a marginal decline when compared to recent years. Sam Allen, analyst at Canadean, says: "These findings indicate that the Spanish cigarettes market is stabilising to a certain degree. However, one needs to keep in mind that this increase in value sales can be largely attributed to a growing population and an increase in prices."

Increase in national production reflects improvement

In Spain, national cigarette production increased for the first time since 2008 to reach almost 34 billion pieces in 2013. This was a 5.8% rise from 2012, and marked a reversal in a continuing decline, which peaked at a fall of 16.3% in national production between 2009 and 2010.

Allen says: "Despite recent signs of stability in the Spanish cigarette market, manufacturers need to ensure that they exercise caution in a market which has witnessed significant decline in recent years. Spanish smokers will continue to be primarily concerned with value, and the challenge for brands is to turn consumers away from contraband and roll-your-own cigarettes, back towards legitimate sales."

Percentage of smokers in Spain gradually decreasing

Canadean's research shows that 24% of all Spanish adults smoked regularly in 2012 (27.9% of Spanish adult males and 20.2% of adult females). Back in 1990, 33.8% of all Spanish adults were smokers (44.2% of males, 24% of females). In 2014, Spain had an estimated adult smoking population of 9 million. Of these, 56.4% were male and 43.6% were female.


Source: Company Press Release