ISSN 2330-717X

Spain Posts Record Export Figures, Reduces Trade Deficit

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Spanish exports of goods grew by 4.9% year-on-year from January to June 2015 (4.5 points higher than for the same period of 2014), totalling 125.12 billion euros, the highest ever half-year figure since records began in 1971. The real change was slightly less, 3.8%, since export prices measured using Unit Value Indices (UVIs) grew by 1.1%.

Spain’s export figure is in line with that posted by our main trade partner – France (whose exports grew by 5% in the first half-year) and is identical to Italy’s figure. Germany’s exports grew by 7%, while those of the European Union as a whole increased by 5.4% and those of the Eurozone by 4.8%. The United Kingdom posted a year-on-year drop of 2.2% in terms of exports and, outside the EU, the considerable growth posted by Japanese exports (7.9%) contrasts with the negative trend of the United States (-5.2%).

Imports, worth a total of 136.6 billion euros, grew by 4.2% in year-on-year terms at a slightly lower rate than exports, and have slowed compared with the previous year, increasing by 1.1 points less than in the same period of 2014 (5.3%). In real terms, the increase was greater, since the purchase of goods from abroad grew by 5.7% due to prices calculated using UVIs falling by 1.5%.

With these figures, the trade balance for January-June 2015 posted a deficit of 11.48 billion euros, 3.4% lower than the figure for the same period of 2014.

The non-energy balance posted a surplus of 2.56 billion euros, versus an 8.42-billion euro surplus in the same period of 2014, while the energy deficit fell by a substantial 30.8% to 14.04 billion euros on the back of lower energy prices.

The coverage rate stood at 91.6%, 0.7 percentage points higher than in the period January-June 2014.

In the second quarter of the year, the export growth rate of Spanish goods accelerated to 5.4% year-on-year (4.4% year-on-year growth in the first quarter) to 64.15 billion euros. Growth of 5.2% was also posted when compared with the first quarter. Meanwhile, the growth of imports in the second quarter of the year stood at 5.8% year-on-year, bettering the growth rate in the first quarter (2.5% year-on-year). Purchases also grew by 5.4% on the first quarter of 2015.

Exports to the European Union accounted for 64.8% of the total for the period (63.6% in the same period of the previous year) and were up by 6.8% year-on-year. Exports to the Eurozone, 50.7% of the total (50.1% in the same period of 2014), increased by 6.3% year-on-year.

The economic recovery in Europe is hence the reason behind the growth in sales to all our main partners: Germany (up 6.2%), France (5.4%) and Italy (12.1%). In the rest of the EU, we should highlight the 7.6% increase in exports to the United Kingdom, despite the decline in June.

The demand from non-EU countries also grew, albeit at a slower pace (1.7%). This demand accounted for 35.2% of the total (36.4% in the same period of 2014).

The growth of exports to Oceania (16.7%), Asia (9.9%) and America (9.3%) is eye-catching. By country, growth in cumulative exports in the year to Canada (up 23.1%), United States (10.6%), Chile (26.2%), Mexico (17.6%), China (4.5%), South Korea (18%), Saudi Arabia (45.2%), United Arab Emirates (22.5%), Egypt (30.4%) and Australia (21%) should be noted.

The countries with the largest positive contribution to the year-on-year variation in Spanish exports were France (0.9 points, due in particular to higher sales of automobiles and motorcycles and then, some way behind, sales of fruit, vegetables and pulses, and sales of engines and automotive components); Italy (0.8 points, due to an increase in the export of automobiles and motorcycles, fruit, vegetables and pulses, iron and steel, and electrical appliances); Germany (0.7 points, due to higher exports of automobiles and motorcycles, fruit, vegetables and pulses, medicines, and automotive components); and the United Kingdom (0.5 points, due to greater exports of automobiles and motorcycles, other goods, and oil and oil derivates).

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