China Deepens Spain’s Trade Deficit

US China trade tensions

Luis Alcaide | At the end of July, Spain’s trade deficit amounted to 38.524 billion euros compared to 6.995 billion in 2021. The explanation was none other than the imbalance between purchases and sales with China and the countries of the Middle East, amounting to 38.503 billion euros.

The People’s Republic of China has become the main supplier of goods to Spain. In the first seven months of the year, German exports to Spain totalled 24.720 billion euros, while Chinese exports amounted to 27.202 billion euros. But the negative balance between Spanish and German sales and purchases was 6.217 billion euros and the negative balance with China was 22.706 billion euros.

In July, the annual growth rate of Spanish exports exceeded that of the main European partners, with an increase of 20% compared, for example, to Germany’s 10.8%. These higher growth rates than those of European companies have been achieved both in the period from January to July and in the last twelve months. The export sector, together with services and tourism, is the most active sector of the economy, but it proves incapable of closing a deficit weighed down by imports from China.

Spain maintains a surplus in its merchandise trade with the EU and Eurozone countries, a surplus that has been increasing in recent times. In contrast, the prices of energy products, but especially the huge imbalance in trade with China, generate a total trade deficit. It is time to think that this dependence on China, as has happened with Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, should be reviewed and corrected. No parliamentary debate and no official concern on the part of the competent authorities.

About the Author

Luis Alcaide
Luis Alcaide works as an economist for the Spanish government since 1961. He has been state adviser in the European Union and Bank of Spain director of communications. Alcaide published editorial articles in Spain's leading newspaper El País between 1977 and 1983, and in Diario 16 between 1985 and 1988. He regularly contributes to Economía Exterior and Política Exterior. He's founder member of Grupo Consejeros.