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Press release 21/06/2019


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Total exports of goods from the Basque Country grew by 11.5% in April 2019

In the first four months of 2019 as a whole, total exports were down 0.2%, but exports of non-energy products were up 0.6%

In April 2019 there was 11.5% growth in exports of goods from the Basque Country, in year-on-year terms, according to EUSTAT data. They totalled 2,228 million euros compared to 1,998 million in the same month of the previous year. Exports of Energy products advanced 73.3% and exports of Non-energy product increased by 5.8%.

Gipuzkoa is the province that registered the largest growth in exports, with 28.1%, and in Bizkaia exports were up by 25.1%. However, in Álava they fell by 19.2%.

Imports of goods to the Basque Country experienced an 8.0% rise, reaching a total of 1,735 million euros. Energy imports increased by 18.7% and Non-energy imports were up by 4.0%.

Imports for Bizkaia grew by 11.8%, and for Gipuzkoa they were up 7.8%, whereas they dropped by 2.4% for Alava.


Analysing the most important exports by customs duty groups, for a further month a decrease was seen in Vehicles (-24.2%), specifically in Passenger cars with less than 10 seats (94.6 million less than in April 2018) and Goods transport vehicles (30.7 million less).

On the other hand, an increase of 73.3% was seen in exports of Mineral Fuels (13.2% of total exports) and of 706.1% in Vehicles and material for railways tracks, particularly in Diesel and electric motor units and motorised trams (159.7 million more). Additionally, it is also worth mentioning the increase (57.5%) in the chapter corresponding to Rubber and Articles thereof, specifically in New Rubber Tyres (36.5 million more).

This month five countries (France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Portugal) are our main clients, absorbing 56.3% of total exports from the Basque Country. Four of them belong to the EU28, an entity that accounts for more than two-thirds of our exports (69.8%). Of particular note is the total amount of exports to Norway, 37 million, Mexico (40 million) and China (40.5 million).

Analysing imports by Customs Duty Chapters it is observed that the largest, Mineral Fuels (29.8% of the total) registered an increase of 18.7% as a result of an increase in imports of Petroleum oils amounting to 81 million euros.

Foreign trade in goods in the Basque Country over the first four months of 2019 had a positive balance of 1,521.2 million euros

Foreign trade in goods in the Basque Country from January to April 2019 had a positive balance of 1,512.2 million euros, 392.6 million more than that registered during the first four months of the previous year. The favourable coverage rate continued, standing at 121.9%.

Breaking this balance down into exports and imports, exports from the Basque Country registered a decrease of 0.2%, which translated into a fall of 13 million euros. By type of product, exports of Non-energy products increased by 0.6%, but Energy products fell 7.6%. The total amount of exports in this period was 8,406 million.

Bizkaia exports were the largest in the Basque Country, with a total of 3,215.9 million euros with negative year-on-year growth of 1.2%. Gipuzkoa registered growth of 15.6% (2,831.1 million euros) and in Álava there was a decrease of 13.1% (2,359.0 million euros).

The six most exported groups during the first four months of 2019 accounted for 35.7% of exports, reaching a total of 3,000.7 million. Four of these products registered considerable decreases compared to the same period of the previous year, whereas the other two experienced increases. Of these decreases, the majority were in the vehicle sector; Passenger cars with less than 10 seats were down 28.0% (273.8 million less), Goods transport vehicles fell by 19.3% (117.5 million less) and Vehicle parts and accessories decreased by 11.1% (76.1 million less). Refined petroleum oils also registered a notable drop, with a fall of 14.8% (85.3 million); on the other hand, New Rubber Tyres grew by 19.6% (56.7 million) and Diesel and electric motor units for railway tracks and motorised trams were up 703.5% (315.5 million more). These last two products maintained the level of our exports during this period, given that they were the only two out of the top twelve that registered growth. Thus, the products that follow these in the export ranking also decreased although less than the first four: Iron or non-alloy steel sections dropped 1.7%, Taps, valves and similar appliances for pipes was down 5.7%, Aluminium sheets and strips of a thickness exceeding 0.2 mm fell by 5.1%, Seamless tubes and hollow profiles made of iron or steel decreased 28.6%, Interchangeable tools for hand tools or for machine tools was down 20.3% and Other iron or steel articles, 5.0%

The export ranking of the first four months of 2019 situates France as the prime receiver country of Basque exports, with 17.0% of the total exported. France is followed by Germany (15.0%), the United Kingdom (8.9%) and the United States (7.7%). Between them, these four countries account for almost 50% of Basque exports for this period.

Accumulated imports for the Basque Country as a whole during the period in question amounted to 6,893.8 million euros. The year-on-year comparison of this figure reveals that is 379.4 million euros higher than that registered in the same period of the previous year. There were increases in both Non-energy products (7.1%) and Energy products (2.4%)

Foreign trade with the EU28 in 2018: surplus exceeding 6,200 million euros

The European Union accounted for the majority of our foreign trade. Thus, during 2018 exports to the EU28 have represented 65.6% of total exports, 16,712.5 million euros. This figure exceeds the average registered in the period 2013-2018 (64.2%), in which the European Union comprised its current 28 members, following the incorporation of Croatia. In turn, imports in 2018 (10,476.9 million) accounted for 51.6% of total imports, 3.5 percentage points less than in the average over the period considered (55.1%).

Analysing exports to the EU28 during 2018 we observed that these are primarily concentrated in ten groups and account for 46.2% of the same The first three are within the Vehicles Customs Duty Chapter, the largest are Passenger cars with less than 10 seats (1,653.1 million exported), Vehicle parts and accessories (1,610.9 million) and Goods transport vehicles (1,076.7 million). These three products have accounted for 26% of exports to the EU28 and 17% of total exports.

The fourth most exported product was Refined petroleum oils (876.2 million), followed by New rubber tyres (840.3 million), Aluminium sheets and strips of a thickness exceeding 0.2 mm (408 million), Iron or non-alloy steel sections (363.8 million), Interchangeable tools for hand tools or for machine tool (326.4 million), Oils and products derived from the distillation of coal tars at high temperatures (301.3 million) and Taps, valves and similar appliances for pipes (271.5 million).

In the case of imports from the European Union, there is a lower concentration of the same in a few products, as occurred for exports, given that the top ten represent 28.1% of the total. The first of these is Vehicle parts and accessories (701.7 million), the second Piston, diesel or semi-diesel engines (497.3 million) and the third Remelting scrap ingots of iron or steel (315.5 million). These three products are followed by Mixtures of odoriferous substances used in the food and beverage industries. (312.6 million), Other preparations and products of the chemical and allied industries (258.0 million), Flat, hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products of a thickness exceeding 599mm (237.4 million), Petroleum oils or oils obtained from bituminous minerals (207.7 million), Fresh or chilled fish (151.7 million), Chemical wood pulp, soda or sulphate (129.6 million) and Ferro-alloys (127.6 million).

Exports from the Basque Country to the EU28 during 2018 were mainly (82.8%) to seven countries: France (3,887.3 million), Germany(3,835.4 million), United Kingdom (1,731.8 million), Italy (1,252.2 million), The Netherlands (1,094.7 million), Portugal (1,054.3 million) and Belgium (979.9 million). In all the years of the historical series these countries occupy these positions with slight variations in their order.

Imports from the EU28 primarily (79.6%) originated from another seven countries: Germany (2,919.4 million), France (1,914.3 million), Italy (994.9 million), United Kingdom (755.6 million), Ireland (645.1 million), The Netherlands (640.1 million) and Portugal (473.8 million). In the temporal comparison of this ranking the same occurs as in the case of exports, the same countries repeat throughout the years.

These last two analyses reveal that the Basque Country maintains a constant positive Trade Balance in respect of the EU28, which last year translated into a trade surplus of 6,235.6 million euros (1,277.7 million more than in 2017), thus achieving a coverage rate of 159.5%.

For further information:

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

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Total exports of goods from the Basque Country grew by 11.5% in April 2019

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Foreign trade statistics (ECOMEX)
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Abril 2019
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