The highest figure of all exports on record
In 2016, Catalan exports grew 2.0% over 2015, reaching €65,141.9M, the sixth consecutive year showing record highs. This figure is, for the third year running, higher than the Eurozone average (0.7%) and the EU (-0.1%) and is also higher than the Spanish exports as a whole, at 1.7%.
Catalonia leads Spain’s exports, with 25.6% of the total, well above the region of Valencia coming second (11.3%), and the region of Madrid (11.1%) in third place. Catalonia accounts for 30.4% of the total Spanish state’s export growth.
Downward trend of Spanish state’s sales, with an upturn in the rest of the world
2016 continues the divergent trend observed in recent years between sales in Spain, which fell 1.7% in 2016 to €38,802M, and exports to the rest of the world grew 2.0 % to €65,142M. Sales to the rest of the world represent 62.7% of the total.
In 2016, a total of 48,035 Catalan companies exported, 1.3% more than in 2015. 16,929 are regular exporters (companies that have exported over the past four years in a row), 3.2 % more than in 2015, reaching a new record high for the fourth consecutive year.
Of the 16,929 regular Catalan exporters, 1,450 (an 8.6% of the total) exported to a value of over €5M, accounting for 87.6% of the exports of the total regular exporting companies in 2016.
The automotive sector (17.9% of the total) and the chemical industry (16.4%) were Catalonia’s main export sectors in 2016, followed by the food industry (12.3%). Along with pharmaceuticals (7.4%), textiles and clothing (7.1%) and machinery (6.3%), six sectors account for two-thirds of Catalan exports.
In 2016, what stands out is the growth in vehicle exports(6.5%), food and beverage (7.3%), pharmaceuticals (7.6%) and computer and electronic products (13.7%). By contrast, exports decreased in chemicals (-1.7%), textiles and clothing (-3.2%) and metallurgy (-3.0%).
Exports of high-technology products grew 8.9% in 2016, well above the growth in exports in the rest of all technology levels. Catalan exports are concentrated at a medium-high technology level, representing almost half (49.6%) of industrial exports in 2016.
The EU accounted for 65.8% of Catalan exports in 2016, 7 percentage points more than in 2015. It is followed by the rest of Europe (7.4%) and Asia (6.5%), which moves to third place in terms of exported volume, ahead of Latin America (5.9%). France accounts for 16.1% of Catalan exports. Germany (11.9%), along with Italy (9.1%), Portugal (6.7%) and the UK (6.0%) represent nearly half (49.7%) of Catalan exports in 2016.
Catalan exports to the EU increased 3.3% in 2016. What stands out is the growth in France (6.9%), Italy (5.7%), Belgium (22.5%) and Germany (2.1%) respectively, the main contributors to the increase in Catalan exports for 2016. However, mention must be made of the decrease shown by the UK (-4.3%) as a result of the depreciation of the sterling.
Globally, the fastest growing regions in terms of exports are Oceania (14.9%), especially noteworthy being Australia (14.7%), and the rest of Europe (5.6%), with Switzerland (5.8% ) and Turkey (7.5%) standing out. Catalan exports also grew in Asia (4.0%), driven by China (9.0%). By contrast, exports declined in Latin America (-7.7%) due to the downturn in Brazil (-25.2%). Africa also falls (-5.6%) and the Middle East, where the fall in Saudi Arabia is noteworthy (-4.5%).