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Press Release 20/07/2018


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Total exports of goods from the Basque Country grew by 2.9% in May 2018

In the first five months of 2018 as a whole, exports grew by 8.4% and the trade balance was positive, almost 2,400 million euros

In May 2018 there was a 2.9% rise in exports of goods from the Basque Country, in year-on-year terms, according to EUSTAT data. They totalled 2,219 million euros compared to 2,156 million in the same month of the previous year. Exports of Energy products were down 10.7% and non-energy product exports grew by 4.7%.

Álava is the province that registered the best performance, with an increase in exports of 8.9%; in Bizkaia exports rose by 1.1% but in Gipuzkoa they were down 0.7%.


Imports of goods to the Basque Country experienced a 13.1% growth, reaching a total amount of 1,728 million euros. Energy imports increased by 42.9% and non-energy imports were up by 5.7%.

At provincial level, in Álava imports grew by 19.8%, in Gipuzkoa they were up 12.8% and in Vizcaya they rose by 10.5%.

Analysing exports by branches of activity, there were increases in the three largest: exports of Motor vehicles were up by 4.0%, General Use Machinery by 13.6% and Iron and Steel by 16.6%. The 50.5% increase in exports of Rubber products is also significant. As in previous months, Álava accounted for the bulk of exports of Motor vehicles, (69.9% of the total), Bizkaia Oil Refining and Gipuzkoa, General Use Machinery.

A more detailed look reveals that in May the five main export duty groups are: Passenger cars with between 5 and 10 seats (Álava), Vehicle parts and accessories (Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa), Petroleum oils (Bizkaia), Goods transport vehicles (Álava) and Seamless pipes or hollow sections made of iron or steel (Álava and Bizkaia). These groups accounted for 35.6% of the total in May 2018, with a combined value of 789.2 million euros, which is 81.4 million more than that of the previous month.

This month five countries (Germany, France, United States, United Kingdom and Italy) became our main clients, absorbing 49.6% of total exports from the Basque Country. Four of them belong to the EU-28, an entity that with 1,404.4 million exported accounts for 63.3% of our exports.

Analysing imports by branches of activity, it can be observed that the largest, Extraction Industries and petroleum (23.3% of the total) saw an increase of 38.7% compared to the same month of the previous year. The subsequent groups in terms of size also experienced growth, as was the case for Iron and Steel products (13.8%), Motor vehicles (29.0%), and General Use Machinery (24.9%).

Over the first five months of 2018 as a whole, foreign trade in goods in the Basque Country had a positive balance of 2,395.9 million euros

For the first five months as a whole, and for exports of the Basque Country, an increase of 8.4% was registered compared to the same period of the previous year, which translated into a rise of 824.7 million euros; the largest contributions to this figure came from Bizkaia, with 379.0 million euros and Álava with 316.9 million. The total export cost in this period was 10,638.5 million euros, which, if we analyse the whole of the historical series, is a record, doubling for example, the total for this period in 2003 and previous years.

Bizkaia exports were the largest in the Basque Country, with a total of 4,150.6 million euros and year-on-year growth of 10.0%. In Álava growth was slightly higher, 10.2% (3,415.6 million) and in Gipuzkoa the rate was 4.4% (3,072.3 million). Considering the type of product, it was Non-energy products, with an increase of 658.3 million, which accounted for the majority of the aforementioned growth. Energy products, in turn, contributed 166.5 million.

The six largest branches of activity by export volume, registered increases in this period; of particular note is the increase in products related to Coke Plants & Oil Refining (31.1%) standing at 834.2 million euros. At the same time, the branch with the highest volume of exports was that of products relating to Manufacture of motor vehicles (2,950.3 million and 27.7% of the total), which grew by 16.0%. Similar growth (18.0%) was seen in the branch with the second highest export volume, Iron and Steel products (1,171.5 million).

The export ranking of the first five months of 2018 situates Germany as the prime receiver country of Basque exports, with 15.9% of the total exported. After Germany are France (15.4%) and the United States (8.1%). 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 8,242.5 million euros. The year-on-year comparison of this figure reveals that is 414.6 million euros higher than that registered in the same period of the previous year. This increase is largely due to the fact that the province of Álava (with accumulated imports of 1,859.2 million) registered growth of 14.1% in this period, that is, 229.1 million more than in the same period of 2017. Imports also increased in Gipuzkoa, 151.7 million more, and in Bizkaia (33.8 million); the value of imports in these provinces reaching 1,685.7 and 4,697.6 million euros, respectively. Imports of Energy Products stabilised (0.1%), but Non-energy Products were up by 7.3%.

Foreign trade in goods in the Basque Country from January to May 2018 had a positive balance of 2,395.9 million euros, 410.1 million more than that registered during the first five months of the previous year. This is largely due to the improvement in the balance of trade in Bizkaia, which, despite being negative, saw a reduction of 345.2 million, going from -892.2 to -547.0 million in one year. On the other hand, the balances in the other two provinces were positive and stood at 1,556.3 million in Álava and 1,386.6 in Gipuzkoa.

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 May 2018

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