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Spanish exports hit new record level 

Spanish exports of goods in the period January-October grew by 9.3 per cent on the same period of the previous year to reach 229.8 billion euros, a new record for the period.

Imports rose by 11.3 per cent to stand at 250.87 billion euros. Consequently, the trade deficit for the first ten months of the year amounted to 21.07 billion euros, 39.9 per cent higher than the figure posted in the same period of 2016. It is the third best cumulative balance recorded for the first ten months of the year since 1998, only having been higher in 2013 and 2016. Spanish exports outperformed those of the Eurozone and the European Union.

The coverage rate (exports over imports) stood at 91.6 per cent (93.3 per cent in January-October 2016), which represents the third-best figure on record (only lower than in 2013 and 2016). In terms of volume, exports grew by 8.7 per cent, since prices measured by Unit Value Indices rose by 0.6 per cent; while imports grew by six per cent following a five per cent price rise.

The non-energy balance posted a deficit of 3.78 billion euros (compared with a deficit of 1.8 billion euros in the ten months to October 2016), and the energy deficit grew by 30.4 per cent to 17.29 billion euros (versus a deficit of 13.26 billion euros in 2016).

The growth of Spanish exports between January and October was stronger than that of the Eurozone (7.6%) and the European Union as a whole (8%), and also outperformed Italy (7.7%), Germany (6.4%), the US (6.1%), China (5.6%) and France (4.7%). It was weaker than that posted by the United Kingdom (17%) and Japan (11.6%).

The main industrial sectors all posted export growth with the exception of the automotive sector: capital goods (accounting for 20.2% of the total) grew by 10.3%; food, beverage and tobacco (16.5% of the total) grew by 7.5%; chemical products (14.2% of the total) grew by 8.1%; and non-chemical semi-manufactured goods (10.2% of the total) grew by 9.7%. The automotive sector (16.3% of the total) shrank by 0.8%, particularly due to lower sales to the UK, Turkey and France.

To a great extent, the growth of imports is due to higher energy product prices and the consolidation of Spain’s economic recovery.

By countries, it is worth noting the increased exports to markets with great potential, such as Argentina (55.3%), Nigeria (29.9%), China (24.7%), Australia (21.6%), the Philippines (18.5%), Morocco (17.6%), Mexico (15.9%), Brazil (13.3%), Canada (11.1%) and the United States (10.7%). Exports shrank to Venezuela (-56%), Algeria (-11%) and Egypt (-10.4%).

The autonomous regions with the strongest export growth were the Balearic Islands (76.3%), the Canary Islands (30.1%) and Asturias (23.2%). The largest declines were posted by Navarre (-4.4%), Castile-Leon (-2.7%) and Cantabria (-1.6%).