Spanish Exports Grow At A Rate Of 17% Between January-April


Luis Alcaide | Spanish exports of goods recorded a historic rise of 71.8 % in April to 25.841 billion euros, and imports rose by 63.9 % to 27.138 billion, compared to April 2020, which was marked by the restrictions of the pandemic. According to data from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, this evolution leaves a trade deficit of 1.297 billion euros in April, 14.6% lower than a year earlier.

In the cumulative January-April period, Spanish exports recorded a rise of 16.9%, (a growth exceeding that of Germany with 11%, and France with 9.6%) totalling 98.149 billion euros, and imports of 10.3%, with 102.709 billion. This leaves in a trade deficit of 4.560 billion euros, 50.3% lower than a year earlier.

This is the result of a positive non-energy balance which turns negative when including the exchange of energy products, which has doubled the deficit compared to 2020, as a result of the rise in oil prices.

Spanish sales of goods to the EU grew year-on-year in the first four months of the year. The trade surplus with the EU widened to 6.488 billion euros, while in the first four months of 2020 the surplus was 3 billion. On the other hand, the continued trade imbalance with non-EU countries showed a slight improvement of around 1 billion euros.

The number of exporters selling goods abroad for a value of more than 1,000 euros per year rose to 63,036, 12.3% more year-on-year. The number of regular exporters (last three years in a row) also grew by 8%. In short, the activity of foreign trade in goods continues to maintain an upward trend.

In terms of export sectors, capital goods regained the first position with one fifth of total exports and a year-on-year increase of 21.2%. Food and beverages remain in second place, while the third place is disputed by chemical products and automobiles, with a surprise advance in the month of April of 505%.

On the imports side, machinery and capital goods are the most important item, followed by chemicals and medicines, as well as automobiles and their components.

A black spot in our foreign trade: sales to China grew by 3.2% in the first four months of the year, but our purchases rose 9.9%. As a result, we have a deficit with China of 12.067 billion euros, three times higher than Spain’s total deficit of 4.560 billion.

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.