Spanish exports exceed 389 billion euro in 2022 and reach an all-time high

Spanish exports of goods in 2022, as a whole, have set a new annual all-time high and exceed 389.2 billion euro for the first time, as shown by the Customs declared foreign trade data. This represents a growth of close to 23% year-on-year compared to 2021.

In addition, Spanish export activity shows greater dynamism than that of the European economies as a whole.

For the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, “foreign trade continues to be an engine of economic growth and a generator of employment in our country. In 2022, the foreign sector contributed almost half of the growth of Spanish GDP, with a contribution of 2.6 percentage points, out of a 5.5% GDP increase. Spanish exports increased by close to 23% despite the current international situation marked by the impact of the war in Ukraine and geopolitical tensions, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the measures adopted by the Government since they have generated confidence and security to Spanish exporting companies”.

Maroto also highlighted that “Spanish exports are close to the target of 4 billion set in the ‘Strategy for the Internationalization of the Spanish Economy 2017-2027’ for 2027 thanks to the reinforcement of support instruments for the internationalisation of companies, as reflected in the National Accounts data from the INE, the weight of the Spanish foreign sector increased. Specifically, exports of goods and services reached 41.7% of GDP, representing 6, 8 points more than in 2021”.

Imports, for their part, reached 457.3 billion from January to December 2022, also an all-time high. This figure represents a year-on-year growth of 33.4% compared to 2021.

Throughout 2022, imports grew to a greater extent due to the effect of the rise in energy products and raw materials, as well as the consolidation in the recovery of domestic demand. However, this growth in imports has slowed sharply since August and the lowest rate of the year was recorded in December (11.1%).

This causes the trade deficit to increase in the last year to 68 billion. “The increase in the cost of products, mainly due to the rise in energy, continues to be the main cause of the deficit. In fact, the energy deficit has accounted for 77.3% of the total deficit,” explains Maroto.

Given this context, the minister indicated that “the global energy crisis shows that we have to continue betting on the ecological transition. The deployment of renewable energies is necessary, with the aim of becoming a less dependent country in terms of energy and even in being a platform for alternative and modern energy sources such as green hydrogen”.

The export base in Spain achieves a new all-time record in 2022. For the first time, it exceeded 43,000 regular exporters of more than a thousand euro (operators who have exported more than a thousand euro in each of the last four years), which represents an increase 2.7% in the last year. In addition, most of the trade (90%) is carried out by regular exporters.

As Maroto explains, “Spain has a solid and expanding export base, prepared to continue taking advantage of the international recovery. In the last 10 years, the number of regular exporters of more than a thousand euro has increased by close to 30%.”

Spanish exports have shown good performance: they grow in all sectors in 2022 compared to 2021 and, in addition, all of them exceed the sales of 2019. On average, exports are 34% higher than those of 2019, which is why they have exceeded the widespread impact of the pandemic.

Regarding the situation by market, the recovery of Spanish exports has been faster with our main European partners: exports to the EU-27 grew above the whole (24.9% year-on-year, compared to 22.9%) and its weight rose to 62.8%, one point more than the previous year. The countries that contributed the most to the growth of exports were: France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany and Italy. On the other hand, sales to third destinations also increased with an increase of 19.7%.