Trade deficit falls by 5.3% in the first two months of 2024 as the energy and non-energy goods balance improves

News - 2024.4.19

19/04/2024. Cover of the Foreign Trade Report. Cover of the Foreign Trade Report Cover of the Foreign Trade Report

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On the other hand, imports reached 68.058 billion euros, as shown in the latest Monthly Report on Foreign Trade of the State Secretariat for Trade with data on declared trade from Customs.

The solidity of our exports has reduced the trade deficit by 5.3% to 6.079 billion euros in the first two months of 2024 due to the improvement in the balance of energy and non-energy goods.

The non-energy deficit fell by 17.3% to 435.6 million euros in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2023, while the energy deficit decreased by 4.3% to 5.643 billion euros, compared to a deficit of 5.894 billion euros in the same period of the previous year.

Contributing to this improvement in the trade balance is the sharp reduction in the trade deficit with non-EU countries, which is down by almost 19.9% to 11.221 billion euros, and the trade surplus with the European Union, which stands at 5.142 billion euros. The coverage rate stood at 91.1%.

After the historic figure for exports in the first quarter of 2023, Spain's foreign sector continues 2024 in a stable manner despite the complex international context, with a slight year-on-year decline in exports of 2.8%, in line with the eurozone and the EU-27, which recorded falls of 2.8% and 2.6%, respectively. Imports are also down by 3% year-on-year. Nonetheless, non-energy exports have been maintained, partially offsetting the decline in the energy segment, which fell by 27.3%.

Compared to the year before the pandemic (January-February 2019), Spanish exports in the first two months of the year rose by 36% and imports by 29%.

By autonomous community, the ones that recorded the most significant growth in exports in January and February were Extremadura (20%), Castilla y León (18.5%) and Galicia (11.2%).

The number of regular exporters - those who have exported more than 1,000 euros in the reference year and in each of the three immediately preceding years - grew by 5% in the period January-February 2024 to 35,934 exporters. These exported 59.463 billion euros, 95.9% of the total.

Foreign trade data in February 2024

According to foreign trade data for February, Spanish exports of goods reached 31.835 billion euros, 5.6% more than the previous month. This is the second best figure in the historical series for the month of February. Imports amounted to 34.184 billion euros.

The trade deficit in February also fell by 4.7% compared to the same month last year to 2.350 billion euros. The non-energy balance showed a surplus of 32.7 million euros, while the energy deficit decreased to 2.382 billion euros.

A trade surplus of 2.25 billion euros was achieved with the European Union in February. With non-EU destinations the deficit decreased to 4.599 billion euros. The largest surpluses were recorded with France, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

The coverage rate - the ratio of exports to imports as a percentage - increased by 0.1 percentage points to 93.1%.

By export sector, the following reached record highs for a month of February: vehicles (up 9.6% YoY), food, beverages and tobacco (7.8% YoY), consumer durables (5.8% YoY), consumer manufactures (3.6% YoY) and capital goods (3.5% YoY).

In terms of destinations, exports to the EU-27 accounted for 63.3% of the total, while 36.7% went to non-EU destinations. Exports reached record figures for the month in many of our main markets, such as France, Germany, Portugal and Poland, and outside the European Union in the United Kingdom, Turkey and Mexico.

By autonomous community, those with the highest growth in exports in the second month of the year were Castilla y León (20.4%), Galicia (13.4%) and Extremadura (12.6%).

In terms of international comparisons, exports from the eurozone (-2.6%), the EU-27 (-2.0%) and Germany (-1.2%) also declined, while those from France (1.8%) and Italy (1.7%) increased. Outside the European Union, exports from the United Kingdom decreased by 1.3%, while those from the United States increased by 5.4% year-on-year and from Japan by 7.8% year-on-year.

Non official translation