Spanish exports of goods in 2016 grew by 1.7% compared to the same period the previous year, reaching a total of 254.53 billion euros, an all-time high. Imports diminished by 0.4% to 273.28 billion euros.
Consequently, the trade deficit for the year stood at 18.75 billion euros, 22.4% less than in 2015 and the second best balance since 1997, only behind 2013. Spanish exports performed better than those of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.
The coverage rate – exports over imports – stood at 93.1% (91.2% in 2015), the second best figure ever, beaten only by 2013.
By volume, exports increased by 3.5%, since prices fell by 1.7%. Meanwhile imports grew by 2.8% due to prices measured by Unit Value Indices (which only measure the prices of exported products) having fallen by 3.1%.
The non-energy balance posted a deficit of 2.52 billion euros (versus a surplus of 1.91 billion euros in 2015) and the energy deficit fell by 37.8% to 16.24 billion euros (versus 26.09 billion euros in 2015).
The performance of Spanish exports in 2016 was better than that of the Eurozone (up by 0.7%) and the EU as a whole (down by 0.1%). Exports by Germany (1.2%) and Italy (1.1%) increased to a lesser extent than in Spain, while in France (-0.9%), UK (-0.2%), USA (-3.2%), China (-6.4%) and Japan (-7.4%) exports all shrank.
In 2016 the number of exporters grew by 1% over 2015 to 148,794. In comparison with 2008 (the maximum achieved in the previous upward cycle), this represents a 46.7% increase. The number of regular exporters (those exporting for at least four straight years) also grew, by 4.2% to 49,792.