Exports increased by 23%, to 389,208 million, approaching the goal of 400,000 million set for 2027


The trade deficit closed 2022 at 68,112 million euros, which is 160% more than that registered in the same period of 2021, mainly due to the increase in energy imports, according to data published this Thursday by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

This result is a consequence of the greater increase in imports of goods, which rose by 33.4% in 2022, to 457,321.2 million euros, an all-time high, due to the rise in international prices of energy products.

For its part, exports rebounded by 22.9%, to 389,208.9 million euros, also a record for the series and a figure close to the goal of 400,000 million for 2027 set in the Strategy for the Internationalization of the Spanish Economy 2017-2027 .

In volume, exports increased by 3.9% year-on-year, since their approximate prices by unit value indices rose by 18.3%, and imports increased by 7.4% year-on-year, with prices rising by 24 ,2%.

All in all, the trade balance registered a deficit of 68,112.2 million euros, compared to the 26,177.9 million registered during the year 2021. Thus, the coverage rate stood at 85.1%, that is, 7, 3 percentage points less than that registered the previous year.

The non-energy balance showed a deficit of 15,495.5 million euros in 2022, compared to 852.2 million in 2021, while the energy deficit shot up to 52,616.8 million euros –compared to 25,325.7 million euros from 2021–, which reflects the strong impact of the crisis in energy-importing countries such as Spain.

The Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Méndez, has highlighted that the foreign sector, as it did in 2021, continued to grow very strongly in 2022, despite a complex geopolitical and economic context. In fact, the foreign sector contributed almost half of the growth of Spanish GDP with a contribution of 2.6 percentage points over an increase in GDP –5.5%, according to data advanced by the National Institute of Statistics–.

“This good performance of the foreign sector is a sign of resilience in the face of international shocks that have been accumulating in recent years,” stressed the Secretary of State for Trade, after anticipating that forecasts suggest that exports will continue to grow in 2023 although at a more moderate pace, in line with the global economy and price containment.

Compared with other geographical areas, the cumulative results for Spain show higher growth in exports than that registered in the EU (20.9%) and the Eurozone (21%).

Among the main economies of the European Union, Germany’s exports grew by 14.1% year-on-year; France, 19.1%; and Italy, 19.9%. Outside the European Union, exports from the United States (17.7% year-on-year), China (10.5%), Japan (18.2%) and the United Kingdom (26%) also grew.

The main sectors in terms of weight over total exports in the period were chemical products, since they represented 18.6% of the total after increasing by 34.5%. It is closely followed by capital goods (17.5% of the total), food, beverages and tobacco (16.5% of the total) and the automobile sector (11.5%).

On the other hand, the main positive contributions of exports from January to December 2022 came from the chemical products sector (5.9 points), energy products (5.4 points), capital goods (2.9 points), and food, beverages and tobacco (2.3 points). Commerce notes that no sector contributed negatively.

Regarding imports, the main sector in terms of weight was energy products, since they represented 19.9% ​​of the total, after shooting up 95.1%. This is due, according to Xiana Méndez, to the reactivation of the economy, transport and tourism after the pandemic, as well as the energy supply by countries in the face of the crisis.

Regarding the destination, Commerce highlights that exports to the European Union accounted for 62.8% of the total after increasing 24.9% compared to the previous year. Sales to France, Spain’s main client with 15.4% of total exports, rose 18.9% year-on-year, while those made to Germany (9.6% of the total) rose 15.6%. Exports to Portugal and Italy, the third and fourth customer with 8.2% and 8.1% of the total respectively, increased by 19% and 18.5%.

Exports to non-EU destinations increased by 19.7% year-on-year in this period and account for 37.2% of the total, highlighting the growth of exports to the Middle East (28.2%), Latin America (27%), America North (26%), Africa (14.2%) Asia excluding the Middle East (7.5%) and Oceania (1.8%).

In a context marked by the war in Ukraine due to the invasion of Russia, both countries are among the largest negative contributions to the annual variation rate of exports in Spain. Specifically, sales to Russia fell by 42% –with a negative contribution to the evolution of exports of 0.3 points–, particularly clothing and, to a lesser extent, minerals and automobile components. Imports, on the other hand, grew by 26.4% mainly due to energy products.

In addition, in a year in which Algeria decided to prevent exports from Spain due to the support of the Spanish Government for the Moroccan autonomy proposal for Western Sahara, sales plummeted by 45.9%, but imports rose by 59. .3%, basically for energy purchases.

Although the Executive has assured that they will continue working through diplomacy to solve this crisis, Commerce acknowledges that there is currently no forecast that an immediate normalization of the situation with this country will take place.

By autonomous community, the region that experienced the highest interannual variation rate of its exports was the Canary Islands (71.3%), followed by the Community of Madrid (48.2%) and the Balearic Islands (45.3%). On the other hand, exports from Castilla y León fell by 0.2% year-on-year.

In the analysis of the contributions to the interannual variation rate of total exports, the Community with the greatest positive contribution was the Community of Madrid, with 6.1 percentage points, whose exports represented 15.2% of the total. It was followed by Catalonia, with a contribution of 4.5 points and whose exports, 24.4% of the total, increased by 17.9%.

In 2022, a total of 99,320 exporters of more than 1,000 euros were recorded, 1.6% less than in the same period of the previous year. Of these, a total of 42,893 exporters had exported 50,000 or more euros in the accumulated year, 4.4% more than in 2021, which exported a value of 388,594.9 million.

In reference to regular exporters of more than 1,000 euros, those who have exported more than 1,000 euros in the reference year and in each of the three immediately preceding ones, in the period January-December 2022, 43,159 exporters were counted, 22, 8% of the total and 2.7% more than in the previous year, which exported 349,384 million euros.