The economy in Almeria, Spain

Almería’s Economy
At the Top of Andalusia’s Economy
The actual model of economy in Almeria is mainly
based on:
 The intensive agriculture,
 Tourism,
 The public services and industries associated to
these, and
 The exploitation of marble quarries.
Almería is at the top of Andalusia in relation to its
income per capita.
Intensive agriculture
White marble
Public services
Almería, the Province vs. Almería,
the City.
The province of Almería is situated on the
eastern side of the Autonomous region of
Andalucía (its like a federal state), in the
south east of Spain, in the south west of
Its coastline is bathed by the Mediterranean
Sea and its main coastal feature is the Cape
of Gata.
Almería’s province has a surface of 8,774 sq
metres, its landforms are extremely
precipitous and steep and it has an average
altitude of 860 metres above the sea level
( the Iberian Peninsula average is 660 metres)
and its maximum altitude is 2,609 metres
(“El Chullo” Peak).
The province is administratively organized in
102 municipalities (towns) and the capital of
the province is Almería City.
Almería’s Economy Nowadays
From the end of the 20th century to the beginning of the
21st century, we can observe a certain number of
significative changes that show the evolution of
Almería’s economy to the state it is in nowadays:
There is a strong tendency to a reduction of the
population working in agriculture and fishing, which
contrasts with an important increase in the worth of
its production, its high rentability rates as well as the
growing importance of technologic agriculture based
on the intensive crops in green house exploitations.
There is a slow but gradual growth in the terciary
sector or also called services, especially in those
municipalities (towns) with a more dinamic
There is a slight decrease in the secundary sector
in general as well as in the construction sector,
which is especially sensitive to economical cycles,
contrasting to the great importance of the industry in
the marble region within Almería’s province..
Almería’s greenhouses on the west of the province as
seen from a satellite.
Almería’s Economy In the Past…
When the province of Almería was created in 1833, the foundations
of its economy were based on the exploitation of its natural , mineral
and agriculture resources.
Plants such as the barilla (a type of saltwort plant, the base of soda
ash – sodium carbonate) and esparto grass (used for paper and
rope making) and later the orange tree and the gravevine are
industrially exploited.
A good part of all these sectors , especially mining, depended on
foreign investments. In this way, due to the uneven growth of the
different sectors provoked a forced emigration of many inhabitants
of the province to either Algeria or Argentina , or France and
Germany until the middle of the 1960’s.
Grapes exportation
by sea.
Iron exportation by sea
Barilla plant and the soda
ash obtained from it.
Esparto grass and crafts
made of it.
Esparto weaving
Historical Economy Sectors
Mining resources were already exploited by ancient civilizations and some of
the traditional industries in Almería come from the Arabic domination such
 Almazaras (mills for making olive oil),related to the cultivation of olive trees.
 Almadrabas (places where fishing took place and where the fish is prepared
either for conservation or comsuption and also a fishing technique), related
to fishing.
 Atarazanas (places where the ships and boat were built or reparired),related
to naval construction.
 Silk, related to the cultivation of the white mulberry tree (silk worms eat
white mulberry tree leaves).
 Gold, lead and sulfur mining.
 Cellulose – Paper, related to the cultivation and harvest of esparto grass.
 Sugar, related to the cultivation of sugar cane.
 Car accesories.
 Railway materials.
Sugar cane
Almazara,Olive oil mill
Almadraba fishing
Atarazana, shipyard.
Esparto harvest
Productive Sectors:Primary Sector.
The most representative
mining exploitations were the
mining of lead (from 1820 to
the end of the 19th
century)and iron (from 1890 to
the 1930’s) which provoked
the constructin of the so called
English Cable (1904) and
French Cable (1920) both
mining loading piers in
Almería’s harbour.
The English Cable
Traditional Agriculture
Traditional produce agriculture such as cereals,
almond trees, olive trees, and orange and lemon
Esparto grass:
It has been an important exportation produce since the
1950’s. One of the main importing countries was the
United Kingdom for its paper industry. Its traditional
use was a handcraft one: making of ropes (useful
for agriculture, stockbreeding and navigation) and
espadrilles (canvas shoes).
Its cultivation starts at the beginning of the 19th century
having an enormous growth only stopped by 1929
Crack and the World War which were shipped all
over the world..
Citrus Fruits: Almanzora River Valley is covered
with citrus trees which are exporter all over Europe.
Olive Tree: The traditional cultivation has been
technified and companies comercialise and export
their gourmet products all over the word.
Espadrilles (canvas shoes) made
with esparto grass.
Orange trees
Almond trees
Intensive Agriculture:
The greenhouse cultivation has been
the driving force of Almería’s economy
since the 1960’s. It is capable of a high
production standards both for national
comsuption and for exportation.It also
generates a sophisticated business
system network.
The most representative foods of
Almeria which are all well-known all
over the world are: tomatoes, peppers,
aubergines, cougettes, melons,
watermelons and cucumbers.
There is also a tomato variety which
has a garantee of origin: the Raf
tomato only produced in Almería.
The Raf tomato is absolutely genuine from Almeria and it is wellknown among gourmets because of its incredible sweet tasty
Fishing companies in Almeria have exported
between last January and March more than
1,38 million kilos of fish and seafood. That
means an increase of 81% compared to last
year’s first term. Most part of this sale
corresponds to frozen fish (746,000 kilos)
whereas the exportation of fresh fish was
more than 637,000 kilos, which shows an
increase of 142 %.
Portugal is now the main customer of our
sea food (43,3%) together with Italy (37%)
and Green Cape. Other markets of
Almería’s fish and seafood are Denmark,
France, Netherlands and Belgium.
Almería also imports fish and seafood from
Italy (41,2 %), Morocco (28,5 %), Portugal
(18,2%), France (7,7%) and Argelia (3,2 %).
In spite of all these importations Almeria’s
fishing balance of trade is positive with a
credit 278,000 €.
Delicious Red prawns from Garrucha
(a fishing village in Almeria).
Last year the aquaculture (cultivation
of aquatic animals) in Almeria had a
turnover of 21 million euros and it is
still gaining markets.The four fish
farms in Almería province produced
2,533 tons of fish.
The species which are widely
produced in our fish farms are gilthead
bream, sea bass and tuna (mostly
exported to Japan).
There are six companies which are
devoted to the cultivation of aquatic
animals which employ more than 150
workers. Four of them are devoted to
fat fish in floating cages in the sea and
two of them have inland facilities for
the prefattening of fish.
Fish farm in the sea
Gilthead bream
Tuna fish
Sea bass
Secondary Sector
Coastal Power Station of
Almería (built by Endesa
– an electric company- in
Motor industry: Artés
Company founded by
José Artés de Arcos.
Shipbuilding industry.
Wood industry
Fiberglass industry.
A shipyard in Almería
Secondary Sector:
Marble Quarries.
The Phoenicians started exploiting the
marble quarries in the north of the
The white marble from Macael was
used in the Alhambra palace
(Granada), in the Alcazaba (Almería),
in Medina Azahara Palace (Córdoba),
in the Roman theatre (Mérida), in the
Roman city of Itálica (Sevilla).
Nowadays the white marble of Macael
is exported all over the world.
The company (Consentino) Tino Stone
has the patent for the beautiful
“silestone” you may have on your
kitchen counter and it has got
branches all over Spain as well as in
London, Dubai, Munich, Hamburgh
and Viena.
Above: The Patio of the Lions in the Alhambra
(used to be snow white marble).
Below (left) : Kitchen counter made of
“silestone”and (right) white marble floor, typical in
many houses in Almería.
Terciary Sector : Finance
Cajamar headquarters , Almería
Monte de Piedad and Caja de
Ahorros de Almería (two first savings
banks created in Almería were
founded in 1900 and 1910
respectively.After a long period of
mergers with 4 other banks it gave
origin to Unicaja in 1991. It has got
921 branches in 19 provinces all over
Spain, one in Frankfurt, one in
Brussels and one in London. It
employs 5878 people.
The other most important savings
bank in the province was founded in
1963 and much later becoming
Cajamar after merging with other
banks. It has got 1,700 branches in
every province in Spain and it employs
7,000 people.
Terciary Sector: Tourism
Tourism in Almería is based on
the so called “Sun & Beach”
tourism with magnificent beach
resorts all along Almería’s
coastline although there are
other other companies
exploiting other resources
such as Almería’s filming
production (Oasys Theme
Park) as well as rural tourism.
Cuaternary Sector
Solar Power Station in Tabernas
founded in 1979 as an
international cooperation between
Germany, Austria, Belgium, the
USA, Greece, Spain, Italy,
Switzerland and Sweden. From
1999 only Spain remains in the
project. It was, is and will be a
worldwide reference in solar
power technology.
Scientific-Technologic Park of
Almería with its breakthrough
research in terms of
environmental issues, agriculture
and fishing among many other
fields of research.
Solar Power Station in Tabernas,

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