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Press release 22/12/2003


Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country fell 4.8% in the third quarter of 2003

Results of exports for the first nine months of the year, however, show a 2.4% increase.

Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country fell by 4.8% during the third quarter of the present year, according to EUSTAT data. The total volume came to 2,615 million euros compared to 2,746 million last year. It seems that the slowing down of the European economy and of our main customers in particular affected the performance of our exports in the third quarter, given that they evolved positively during the first half of the year. Despite this quarterly fall, exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country registered a 2.4% overall rise for the first three quarters of 2003.

Total imports registered a 2.9% rise in this third quarter, coming to 2,430 million euros. In the isolated case of non-energetic imports, these virtually repeat last year’s figures (-0.1%). Energetic imports however, underwent a sharp increase of 14.7%.

The trade surplus suffered a setback during this quarter, falling from 384 million in the third quarter of 2002 to 185 million this year. As a result of these figures, the coverage rate of exports over imports dropped from 116.3% in the third quarter of 2002 to 107.6% in the third quarter of 2003. The coverage rate of non-energetic exports over imports of the same products fell from 140.5% to 130.8% during the same comparative period.

Exports to the European Union descended by 6.8%, due to the fall in sales of the products of the A.C. of the Basque Country to our main customers France (-6.0%) and Germany (-9.5%). These two countries, despite the delicate situation of their economies, slowing down almost to the point of entering a slump, supported Basque exports during the first half of the year, but it seems as if the negative impact only came in the third quarter. A similar situation occurred in this quarter with Italy (-13.6%), the United Kingdom (-9.2%) and Portugal (-14.6%).

Imports coming from the European Union also fell, albeit less so (-0.4%), from all our major suppliers, except Germany (14.5%) and the United Kingdom (3.4%).

Among the import duty groups, Capital goods, the most important in terms of volume, suffered a 6.4% reduction in exports, while there was a 2.3% increase in its imports. Metals and manufactured, the second most important group, exported 7.3% less than in the same period in 2002 and imports of these products fell by 0.7%. All the import duty groups, apart from Energy products, reduced exports during the third quarter.

The fall in exports was most pronounced in Álava (-12.7%), where the decrease jointly affected its three main export duty groups: Metals and manufactured (-15.7%), Electric material (-20.3%) and Transport material (-18.3%). Bizkaia is the only province where exports increased (2.2%) during this quarter, thanks to the dramatic growth of exports of Energy products (64.1%). Exports of Capital goods grew 7.5%, although there was a fall in Metals and manufactured (-11.0%). Total exports from Gipuzkoa receded by 5.5%. Metals and manufactured (5.3%) and Electric material (1.4%) did increase, but the inter-annual rate was negative in the case of exports of Transport material (-15.2%).

For further information:

Euskal Estatistika-Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tel:+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail: eustat@eustat.es
Contact person: Patxi Garrido
Tel:+34-945-01 75 13 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
Press releases on the Internet: www.eustat.es

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Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country fell 4.8% in the third quarter of 2003

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