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Spanish exports soar to record levels, outstripping Eurozone 

Spain’s exports continue to post historic highs, with a 9.1% in crease from January through to September.

This amounted to 205.56 billion euros, an all-time cumulative high for the period.

Imports increased by 11.1% to 224.12 billion euros. Consequently, the trade deficit for the first nine months of the year amounted to 18.56 billion euros, 40.3% higher than the figure posted in the same period of 2016. It is the third best cumulative balance recorded for the first nine months of the year since 1997, only bettered in 2013 and 2016. Spanish exports continue to outperform those of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.

The coverage rate – exports over imports – stood at 91.7% (93.4% in January-September 2016). This is also the third best figure in the historical series. In volume terms, exports rose by 8.6%, since prices calculated by Unit Value Indices increased by 0.4%, and imports grew in volume by 5.6%, also due to prices having increased, this time by 5.2%.

The growth of Spanish exports between January and September is higher than that of Spain’s neighbours: in the Eurozone exports grew by 7.4% and in the European Union by 7.7%. Spain’s export growth also outperforms that of Italy (7.3%), Germany (6.3%), and France (3.8%), as well as the USA (6.2%) and China (5.5%). Exports from UK grew faster (17.6%), as did Japan’s (11.3%).

The main industrial sectors all posted export growth with the exception of the automotive sector: capital goods (accounting for 20.4% of the total) grew by 10.5%; food, drink and tobacco (16.6% of the total) grew by 7.3%, and non-chemical manufactures (10.2% of the total) grew by 9%. Meanwhile, the automotive sector (16.3% of the total) shrank by 0.8%, particularly due to lower sales to the UK and Turkey.

The growth of imports is mainly due to higher energy product prices and the consolidation of Spain’s economic recovery. Imports of capital goods (21.4% of the total) increased by 10%, energy products (13.2% of the total) by 41.7%, and chemical products (15% of the total) by 4.7%.

The autonomous regions with the strongest export growth were the Balearic Islands (96.1%), the Canary Islands (29.9%) and Asturias (24.4%). In contrast, the biggest drops were posted by Navarre (-5.6%), Castile and Leon (-3.2%) and Cantabria (-2.6%).