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Press release 23/06/2004


Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country increased by 9.1% in the first quarter of 2004

On the other hand, sales to the European Union-25, which account for two thirds of total exports, fell by 2.3%.

Exports from the A.C. of the Basque Country underwent 9.1% growth during the first quarter of 2004, according to EUSTAT data. The total figure for exports in the first three months of the year came to 3,150.3 million euros, compared to 2,886.9 million last year.

Imports totalled 2,660.2 million euros in the first quarter of 2004, surpassing purchases made in the same period of 2003 by 5.4%.

If analysis is limited to Non-energy Products, exports accumulated two points less growth, 7.1%, whereas imports of this same type of goods remained virtually unchanged from the level of a year ago.

The total volume of foreign trade transactions, exports plus imports, went from 5,410.7 million euros in the first quarter of 2003 to 5,810.4 million this year, thus obtaining an inter-annual increase of 7.4%.

The trade surplus showed substantial growth of 35%, rising from 363.1 million in the first quarter of 2003 to the 490.1 million obtained between January and March this year. In this respect, the coverage rate of exports over imports improved its position: from 113.8% in the first quarter of 2002, it rose to 114.4% in the same period of 2003 and came to 118.4% in the first three months of 2004. The coverage rate of non-energy exports over imports of the same type gained almost ten points, going from 136.2% last year to 145.8% this year.

Exports destined for the European Union suffered a decline in relation to the same period of last year: sales in the EU-15 fell by 3.9% and those made in the new EU-25, accounting for almost two-thirds of total exports, decreased by 2.3%. Exports destined for Latin America also suffered an 8.8% reduction. However there were increases in sales to Mediterranean Countries, Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC), other OECD countries (outside the EU), and Central and Eastern European Countries.

The most sizeable customs duty sections, in the A.C. of the Basque Country as a whole, were those who contributed to the positive evolution of quarterly exports: Transport material increased its overseas sales by 23.9%, Electric material by 4.5%, Metals and manufactured by 5.2% and Plastic and rubber by 1.8%, to mention the most important ones. As for imports, Metals and manufactured increased by 6.1%, Mineral products by 26.7%, Electric material by 0.8%, but Transport material fell by 30.2%.

Quarterly evolution of foreign trade performed in quite different ways in the three provinces of the A.C. of the Basque Country. Exports from Bizkaia grew by 32.6%, thanks to the boost from Transport material (186.5%), Electric material (13.5%) and Mineral products (51.2%). Overseas sales from Gipuzkoa rose by a mere 0.7%, due to the modest growth of Transport material (6.3%), Metals and manufactured (6.0%) and the fall of Electric material (-0.3%), Plastic and rubber (-17.6%) and Food products (-25.4%), among others. Exports from Álava suffered a setback of 14.3% in the first quarter of 2004, as a result of the decline registered in the exports of Transport material (-38.7%) and Electric material (-6.7%), and despite the increase of Metals and manufactured (11.9%).

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: 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 increased by 9.1% in the first quarter of 2004

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