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Press Release 22/05/2018


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Total exports of goods from the Basque Country grew by 2.9% in March 2018, and imports fell by 0.1%

In the first quarter as a whole exports grew by 10.9%, reaching a new quarterly record

In March 2018 there was a 2.9% rise in exports of goods from the Basque Country, in year-on-year terms, according to data provided by EUSTAT. They totalled 2,355 million euros compared to 2,288 million in the same month of the previous year. Exports of Energy products were up 18.1% and non-energy product exports grew by 1.8%.

Bizkaia is the province that registered, this month, the biggest growth in exports, with 9.5%, due to the increase in exports of energy products (18.2%), which made up 19.3% of the total exported from this province. In Gipuzkoa, exports as a whole were up by 0.2%, and in Alava they fell by 2.4%.


Imports of goods to the Basque Country, for their part, experienced a drop of 0.1%, reaching a total amount of 1,661 million euros. Energy imports increased by 10.6% and non-energy imports fell by 3.1%.

In Bizkaia imports grew by 2.0%, but they were down in Álava (-1.4%) and Gipuzkoa (-4.3%).

Analysing the largest branches of activity, and in relation to exports, of particular relevance this month was the increase in exports of products relating to the Manufacture of motor vehicles, which was up 5.7%. This was also the branch with the highest volume of exports (27.0% of the total). The fourth largest (8.8% of the total), Rubber products, rose by 41.8% and the fifth, Coke Plants & Oil Refining (7.2% of the total), by 63.6%. Álava accounted for the bulk of exports of Motor vehicles, Bizkaia Rubber products and Oil refining and Gipuzkoa, General Use Machinery.

A more detailed look reveals that, amongst the main export duty groups: Passenger cars with between 5 and 10 seats, Vehicle parts and accessories, New Rubber Tyres, Goods transport vehicles, and Petroleum oils. These five accounted for 39.9% of the total in March 2018, with a combined value of 938.9 million euros. Exports of Passenger cars with between 5 and 10 seats and Goods transport vehicles were concentrated in Álava, exports of New rubber tyres and Petroleum oils in Bizkaia, and Valves and similar and Iron or non-alloy steel sections in Gipuzcoa.

This month five countries (France, Germany, United States, United Kingdom and Italy) were our main clients, absorbing 51.8% of total exports from the Basque Country. Four of them belong to the EU 28, an entity that accounts for 65.9% of exports.

Analysing imports by branches of activity, it can be observed that the largest, Extraction Industries and petroleum (22.4% of the total) saw an increase of 24.4%. Downturns, however, occurred in the sections that follow this by order of importance, namely: Motor Vehicles (-7.4%), Iron and Steel products (-14.9%) and General Use Machinery (-5.3%).


For the first quarter as a whole, and for exports from the Basque Country, an increase of 10.9% was registered compared to the previous year, which translated into a rise of 629.1 million euros; the greatest contribution to this figure was that of Bizkaia, with 325.7 million euros. The total export cost this quarter was 6,421.2 million euros, which is a record if we analyse the whole of the quarterly historical series, which starts in the first quarter of 1997.

Bizkaia exports were the largest in the Basque Country, with a total of 2,500.7 million euros and growth of 15.0%. In Gipuzkoa growth was 7.9% (1,856.6 million euros) and in Álava it was 8.8% (2,063.9 million euros). Considering the type of product, it was “non-energy products”, with an increase of 438.1 million, which accounted for the majority of the aforementioned growth, whereas energy products contributed 191.0 million.

The eight most important branches of activity by export volume presented notable rises in the first quarter of the year; the increase for products related to Coke Plants & Oil Refining particularly standing out, with imports almost doubling (86.8%) exports in the first three months of the previous year, standing at 504.2 million euros. In turn, the branch with the highest volume of exports was that of products relating to Manufacture of motor vehicles (1,808.1 million and 28.2% of the total), which grew by 17.7%.

The export ranking of the first quarter of 2018 situates Germany as the prime receiver country of Basque exports, with 16.0% of the total exported. After Germany comes France (15.1%) and the United States (8.3%). These three countries account for almost 40% of Basque exports between them.

Accumulated imports for the Basque Country as a whole during the period in question amounted to 4,908.4 million euros. This is the highest figure of the last 37 quarters and would be the highest of the historical series if we exclude the period between the third quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2008, in which imports exceeded exports. Comparing this figure in year-on-year terms we see that it represents 140.0 million more than that registered in the same period of 2017. This increase is largely due to the fact that the province of Álava (with accumulated imports of 1,117.2 million) registered growth of 12.6%, that is, 125.3 million more than in the same quarter of the previous year. Imports also increased in Gipuzkoa, 53.9 million, however they decreased in Bizkaia (39 million less); the value of imports in these provinces stood at 977.6 and 2,813.6 million euros, respectively.

Imports of Energy Products dropped by 4.6%, but Non-energy Products were up by 6.1%.

Foreign trade in goods in the Basque Country during the first quarter of 2018 had a positive balance of 1,512.8 million euros, 489.1 million more than that registered during the first three months of the previous year. This is largely due to the balance of trade in Bizkaia, which, despite being negative, saw a reduction of 364.9 million, going from -677.8 to -312.9 million in one year. On the other hand, the balances of the other two provinces were positive and increased by 10.3% in Gipuzkoa, the value of the balance standing at 879.1 million for this quarter, and 4.7% in Álava (946.6 million).

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: servicioprensa@eustat.eus Tel: 945 01 75 62

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Total exports of goods from the Basque Country grew by 2.9% in March 2018, and imports fell by 0.1%

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Foreign trade statistics (ECOMEX)
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Marzo 2018
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