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Press release 02/03/2010


Exports from the Basque Country fell by 11.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009

Trade surplus of 2,328 million euro in 2009 with a coverage rate of 119% due to the drop in imports

Exports from the Basque Country reported a nominal fall of 11.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to EUSTAT data. Sales abroad totalled 3,963.7 million euro over the last three months of 2009, compared to 4,458.4 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

Total imports, which came to 3,263.4 million euro, posted a year-on-year drop of 18.3%, even though non-energy product imports fell at a slightly higher rate of 21.7%.

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 462.9 million euro to a surplus of 700.3 million euro of this year, with a coverage rate of exports over imports of 121.5%.



However, the non-energy trade balance showed a surplus of 1,346.7 million euro in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 4.1% on the same period of the previous year, with the coverage rate rising from 145% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 159.9% in the same quarter of 2009.

Exports to the European Union fell by 18.1% and the only main destination not to record a decrease was the United Kingdom, with exports to that country up 26.7%. The greatest falls were in exports to Germany (-29.1%), Belgium (-27.8%), Italy (-21.4%) or France (-15.4%). However, even though the figure for France was not as low, it had a great impact on our exports. Among the other areas with a significant volume, the growth in sales to the Newly Industrialised Asian Countries (NIAC), a group where sales are up over twelvefold, and the drop in exports to the United States, down 28.9%, are particularly noteworthy.

Imports coming from the European Union also experienced a considerable decrease (12.4%), with notable drops in the number of imports coming from Germany (-26.6%) and Italy (-21.6%), among others, while imports from Belgium were up by 67.9%.

The trade surplus with the European Union shrunk and fell from the 759.2 million euro last year to the 508.1 million of the last quarter of 2009. The coverage rate was therefore down by 8.8 percentage points.

Exports in the fourth quarter of 2009 performed negatively, mainly in the case two duty groups: Metals and Manufactured (-31.7%) and Electrical Equipment (-23.3%), where exports in both cases were down by over 650 million compared to same period of the previous year. In terms of the other main duty sections, special mention should be made of the growth recorded by Transport Material, up 24.7%. This growth was due to a ship being exported to Singapore.

As far as imports were concerned, the majority of the sections posted downturns, particularly Metals and Manufactured (-26.7%) and Transport Material (-52.1%).

Alava and Gipuzkoa posted significant decreases in its exports in the fourth quarter of 2009, with year-on-year rates of -20.0% and -21.1%, respectively. However, exports from Bizkaia were up by 4.9% compared to the previous year. The greatest fall in imports was in Álava (-25.3%), followed by Bizkaia (-18.3%) and Gipuzkoa (-12.1%).

Annual Balance for 2009

Exports from the Basque Country totalled 14,606.2 million euro in 2009, down 26.6% on 2009. Total imports for the same period fell by 38.9%. As the result of both flows, the coverage rate of exports over imports was up by nearly 20 points, from 98.9% in 2008 to 119.0% in 2009, generating a surplus of 2328.3 million euro for 2009.

The balance of non-energy products was the best performer compared to the previous year, standing at 5,289.1 million euro compared to the 5,100.5 million of 2008. The coverage rate of non-energy products improved by 26.2 points, and rose from 139.2% in 2008 to 165.4% in 2009.

Both exports and imports in the Basque Country posted sharper falls than in the rest of Spain. Therefore, while exports were down by 15.9% in Spain, they dropped by 26.6% in the Basque Country. Something similar happened with imports, as they were down by 26.2% in the rest of Spain and by 38.9% in our Autonomous Community.

In 2009, the greatest downturns in exports were by Metals and Manufactured (-39.6%), Electrical material (-22.9%) and, to a lesser extent, Transport Material (-17.4%), three duty groups that account for 70% of our exports.

The smallest downturn in exports for 2009 as a whole was in Gipuzkoa, down 22.8% for the year, followed by the exports from Bizkaia (25.5%) and Alava with an annual decrease of 32.8%. As far as imports were concerned, the three provinces posted significant decreases, with Gipuzkoa being the provinces with the smallest decrease (-31.%), followed by Bizkaia (-40.6) and, finally, Alava, which recorded the greatest drop in imports (-41.3%).


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: eustat@eustat.es Contact: Patxi Garrido Tlf:+34-945-01 75 13 Fax:+34-945-01 75 01 Online press releases: www.eustat.es Databank: www.eustat.eus/bancopx/english/indice.aspx

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Exports from the Basque Country fell by 11.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009

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