Press Release 12/03/2009
FOREIGN TRADE STATISTICS (ECOMEX) 4th QUARTER 2008
Exports from the Basque Country fell by 10.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008
The 2008 annual balance for Basque exports ended the year with 6.7% growth
Exports from the Basque Country reported a nominal fall of 10.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to EUSTAT data. Sales abroad totalled 4,458.4 million euros over the last three months of 2008, compared to 4,967.0 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year.
Total imports, which came to 3,995.6 million euros, posted a year-on-year drop of 22.4%, even though non-energy product imports fell at a slightly lower rate of 19.3%.
The trade balance (exports minus imports) showed a positive evolution, due to the greater downturn in the number of imports compared to exports, and rose from a deficit of 179,7 million euros to a surplus of 462.9 million euros of this year, with a coverage rate of exports over imports of 111.6%
Evolution of the foreign trade of the Basque Country. Fourth quarter 2007-2008. Thousands of euros.
However, the non-energy trade balance stood at a surplus of 1,293.1 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2008, up 19% on the same period of the previous year, with the coverage rate increasing from 130.4% in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 145.0% in the same quarter of 2008.
Exports to the European Union fell by 13.6% and the only main destination not to record a decrease was Portugal, with exports to that country up 3.5%. Exports to the United Kingdom (-44.6%), Italy (-17.8%), France (-7.6%) and Germany (-4.1%) saw the most dramatic downturns. In terms of the other key destinations, special mention should be made of the growth of sales to the United States (33.8%) or North African (98.1%) and the decrease in the sales to Mexico (-39-9%) and the countries of the OPEC (-25.7%).
Imports coming from the European Union also experienced a considerable decrease of 30.7%, with notable drops in the number of imports coming from Germany (-47.4%), France (-20.5%) and Italy (-25.2%), among others.
The trade balance with the European Union more than doubled and shot up from the 300.0 million of last year to the 759,2 million of the last quarter of 2008. Therefore, the coverage rate rose by over 27 percentage points.
The performance of exports in the fourth quarter of 2008 was negatively hit, mainly by two import duty groups: Transport Material (-28.3%) and Plastics and Rubber (-20.5%), where exports in both cases were down by over 400 million compared to same period of the previous year. In terms of the other main import duty sections, special mention should be made of the growth recorded by Metal and Manufactured, up 2.1%, which accounted for a third of our total exports.
As far as imports were concerned, the majority of the sections posted downturns, particularly Energy Products (-29.3%), Transport Material (-51.7%) and Metals and Manufactured (-17.9%).
Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa posted significant decreases in its exports in this fourth quarter of 2008, with year-on-year rates of -20.9% and -4.2%, respectively. However, exports from Álava remained steady compared to the previous year. On the other hand, the greatest decrease in imports was in Álava (-32.4%), followed by Bizkaia (-20.4%) and Gipuzkoa (-17.2%).
Annual balance for 2008
Exports from the Basque Country totalled 19,888.4 million euros in 2008, bettering the 2007 figure by 6.7%. Total imports for the same period grew by 7.1%, even though non-energy products were down by 0.8%. As the result of both flows, the coverage rate of exports over imports remained at the same level (99%) as in 2007, generating a slight deficit of 214 million euros for 2008.
The balance of non-energy products was the best performer compared to the previous year, standing at 5,100.5 million euros compared to the 4,058.1 million of 2007. The coverage rate of non-energy products improved by eight points, and rose from 131.0% in 2007 to 139.2% in 2008.
Exports grew in the Basque Country at nearly double the rate for Spain as a whole (3.7%) and Basque imports also increased at a faster rate than the Spanish ones (0.6%).
The largest growth in exports in 2008 came from Metals and Manufactured (16.7%), Electrical material (9.4%) and Mineral Products (21.3%). And the most significant downturns were posted by Transport Material (-5.4%) and Plastics and Rubber (-3.6% ).
For 2008 as a whole, the largest growth in exports corresponded to Gipuzkoa, with 8.0% annual growth, followed by exports from Álava (7.0%) and Bizkaia recorded an annual increase of 5.5%. As far as imports were concerned, only Bizkaia posted positive growth of 13.4%, while Gipuzkoa and Álava recorded similar downturns of 2.6% and 2.4%, respectively.
Foreign trade of the Basque Country. (Trend)
For further information:
Basque Statistics Office
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Tlf:+34-945-01 75 00 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Patxi Garrido
Tlf:+34-945-01 75 13 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01
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