Press release 25/03/2004


Exports of the A.C. of the Basque Country grew by 0.4% and imports by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2003

Exports from Álava registered an important rise of 10.1% over the last three months of the year.

Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country experienced nominal growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2003, according to EUSTAT data, totalling 3,157.9 million euros. Exports from Álava during this quarterly period were the only ones to register a positive inter-annual evolution (10.1%), compared to the fall in those from Gipuzkoa (-4.7%) and also Bizkaia (-1.2%).

The evolution of imports was also positive, 0.2%, in relation to the fourth quarter of 2002, and the performance was also very varied between provinces: Bizkaia (9.1%), Gipuzkoa (-0.2%) and Álava (-19.1%).

The trade balance (exports less imports) for the final quarter of 2003 came to 326 million euros and the coverage rate of exports over imports (111.5%) improved on the position of one year earlier by point three per cent.


The balance for 2003 shows an increase in exports of 1.8% and in imports of 3.8%.

Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country totalled 11,752.8 million euros in 2003, 1.8% more than the previous year. Exports, which had accumulated nominal growth of 5.9% during the first quarter of 2003, saw their growth rate tumble in the second part of the year, dropping 4.8% in the third quarter and obtaining a 0.4% rise in the last quarter of the year.

Annual imports came to 10,452.6 million euros, meaning an annual growth rate of 3.8%.

Elsewhere, non-energy exports registered 0.7% growth for the year as a whole and exports of this type grew by 3.3%.

The trade balance fell from 1,466.4 million euros in 2002 to 1,300.2 million in 2003. If energy products transactions are excluded, the non-energy trade balance also fell from 3,084.4 million the previous year to 2,898.4 million euros in 2003.

As a consequence of the above, coverage of total exports over total imports lost two point two per cent in relation to the position of one year earlier, going from 114.6% in 2002 to 112.4% in 2003, due to a greater relative growth in imports. Coverage of non-energy exports over non-energy imports fell from 138.5% the previous year to 135.0% in 2003, losing three and a half points

Origin and destination of main items in 2003

Exports headed for the European Union registered an annual growth rate of 3.5%. The most significant in terms of annual growth were exports to Ireland (+85.8%) and Denmark (+24.7%). Sales also increased to our main clients such as France (2.7%), Germany (2.4%), as well as Italy (7.8%), Belgium (3.4%) and the Netherlands (8.8%), although there was a fall in exports to the United Kingdom (-1.8%) and Portugal (-4.1%), among others.

Imports coming from the European Union experienced a decline of 1.4%, affecting those coming from France (-0.7%) and Germany (-3.5%), although there was an increase in those coming from the Netherlands (6.0%), Denmark (16.3%), Greece (39.9%) and Portugal (3.6%).

Exports of Capital Goods, the main duty tariff group, accounting for 47.3% of total exports, obtained slight growth of 0.2% in 2003. The next most important duty tariff group, Metal and manufactured (23.5% of total exports) increased its overseas sales by 2.6%.

Capital Goods imports fell by 3.6% in 2003, although this was not the case for overseas purchases of Metal and manufactured which accumulated an annual rise of 11.1%.

Evolution by provinces 2003

In 2003, exports from Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa followed a very similar pattern, the former growing 2.8% and the latter 2.6%. On the other hand, exports from Alava suffered a slight fall of 0.5% in relation to the previous year. The evolution of exports from Gipuzkoa was based on the increases of Capital Goods (3.2%) and Metal and manufactured (6.7%). In the case of Bizkaia, Capital Goods fell (-1.0%) and there was only a slight rise for Metal and manufactured (1.0%) and so, therefore, its annual result was built on the performance of Chemical Products (16.3%) and Mineral and energy products (31.6%), among others.

In the case of exports from Álava, it can be seen that the negative evolution of Capital Goods (-2.0%), especially Transport Material (-5.0%) had a direct effect on the outcome of total exports, even though the Metal and manufactured group showed a small increase of 0.3%.

For further information:

Euskal Estatistika-Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tef+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail:
Contact person: Patxi Garrido
Tel:+34-945-01 75 13 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
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Exports of the A.C. of the Basque Country grew by 0.4% and imports by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2003

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