Spanish exports reach €93.43 billion in the first quarter, the second best figure in the historical series

News - 2024.5.20

  • x: opens new window
  • Whatsapp: opens new window
  • Linkedin: opens new window
  • Send: opens new window

In the first quarter of 2024, Spanish exports of goods reached €93.43 billion, the second highest value in the historical series for this period. For their part, imports reached over €101.53 billion, the third highest value in the entire series, as shown in the latest Monthly Report on Foreign Trade of the Secretary of State for Trade, using data on declared trade from Customs.

Despite the complex international context and following the historic export figure reached in the first quarter of 2023, the Spanish foreign sector continued to show great competitiveness and robustness at the beginning of 2024. Eliminating the base effect of the increase in COVID-19 vaccines and the calendar effect, exports were down slightly by 5.6% year-on-year in March.

This result in fact reflects a growth in Spanish exports this quarter above the average of the last five years. Compared to the year immediately prior to the pandemic (January-March 2019), Spanish exports in the first three months of the year rose by 31.6% and imports by 26.2%.

First quarter data

From January to March 2024, the trade balance showed a non-energy surplus of €8.8 million, while the energy trade deficit narrowed to just over €8.11 billion. The coverage rate stood at 92.0%. The trade deficit recorded in the first quarter of 2024 is the second smallest since the third quarter of 2021.

By areas of activity, the positive contribution of the food and automobile sectors continued to grow. Exports of energy products fell more sharply than those of non-energy products (28.2 % year-on-year against 7.2 %).

There was still a trade surplus with the EU, reaching just over €7.71 billion from January to March 2024, while the surplus with the Eurozone stood at over €8.34 billion. With respect to non-EU countries, the trade deficit narrowed to just short of €15.82 billion (compared to a deficit of just over €18.78 in the period January-March 2023).

The autonomous communities that recorded the highest growth in exports in the first quarter were Extremadura (16.0%), Castilla y León (11.4%) and the Autonomous Community of Navarre (4.5%).

The number of regular exporters - those that have exported more than €1,000 in the reference year and in each of the three immediately preceding years - grew by 3.7% in the period January-February 2024 to 38,758 exporters. These exported goods to the value of almost €89.8 billion, 96.1% of the total.

Foreign trade data as of March 2024

Looking at foreign trade data for the month of March, exports reached €31.45, the third best figure in the historical series for this month of the year and in line with the average of the last five years. Meanwhile, imports amounted to just short of €33.48 billion.

In March 2024, the trade balance recorded a deficit of almost €2.03 billion, the best figure in the last 30 months, with the exception of March 2023. The coverage rate - the ratio of exports to imports as a percentage - stood at 93.9%.

The non-energy component of the trade balance showed a new surplus of €444.4 million, the highest in the last 11 months, up from €32.7 million in February. As for the energy component, the figure showed a deficit of just over €2.47 billion, in line with the previous month and the same month in 2023.

In March, there was a trade surplus of almost €2.57 billion with the EU and a surplus of over €2.89 billion with the euro zone. The trade deficit with non-EU destinations decreased to just short of €4.56 billion. The largest surpluses were recorded with France, the UK and Portugal.

The main export sectors in March 2024 were food, beverages and tobacco (19.9% of the total), capital goods (19.3% of the total), chemicals (15.6% of the total) and the automotive sector (14.6% of the total).

In terms of destinations, exports to the EU27 accounted for 62.9% of the total, while 37.1% went to non-EU destinations. Exports reached record levels for the month in some important markets, including Turkey, Mexico and India.

Non official translation