"The cork extraction campaign in 2019 has achieved the industry's expectations in terms of cork quantities produced,” the group said in a statement. “Production of four million arrobas [a traditional measure corresponding to 15 kg] is estimated in Portugal and 2.2 million arrobas in Spain, totaling 6.2 million arrobas, that is, about 93,000 tons, representing an increase of about 13% of cork available compared to 2018."
The amount of cork harvested this year thus "made it possible to assure the needs of the industry", although weather conditions "constrained the harvest and the quantities extracted, shifting this cork to the 2020 extraction harvest.”
At the same time, selling prices were this year down by around 12%, representing "a reversal from the 2018 increase", although since 2009 there has been a sustained trend of rising prices.
In this year’s harvest, the cost of extraction increased, together with an increased difficulty in hiring human resources.
Portugal’s exports of cork between January and September were down 0.1% on the same period a year earlier, to €807.3 million, the association said.
For 2020, it sees a 30% increase in cork output.
Filcork encompasses seven associations, from forest producers of the Beira interior region (AFLOBEI), in north-central Portugal, to producers in the Charneca (ACHAR), near the coast south of Lisbon.