The turnover of Portugal’s cork sector last year increased by 8.6% to €2.010 billion, with exports swelling by 7.5% to €1.212 billion, according to Informa D&B, a business information firm.
The sector analysis released on Thursday by Informa D&B concludes that the manufacture of bottle stoppers was the activity with the best performance, with €1.095 billion in revenue, up almost 20% on 2021.
With regard to sales abroad, cylindrical natural cork stoppers stood out as the main product exported, representing about 37% of all sector exports.
Last year France remained the main foreign market for companies in Portugal’s cork sector, accounting for around 20% of total exports. Spain and Italy were the next most important EU markets, with shares of 16% and 11% respectively.
Imports in the sector last year totalled €254 million, up 29.6% on the previous year.
The Informa D&B analysis also confirms that the number of companies in the cork industry has been falling since 2015, citing available data to show the existence of a total of 816 companies in 2020, employing 8,343 workers (an average of 10 employees per company).
Of the total number of companies, around 30% are dedicated to cork preparation, while cork stopper manufacturers represent around 60% of the total, and 12% manufacture other types of products.
As for the geographical distribution of the companies, there is a high concentration in the north of Portugal, where 84% of the companies were based in 2020.