Catalan exports exceed 70,000 MEUR and set a new record in 2017 for the seventh consecutive year

Tue Feb 20 00:00:00 UTC 2018

  • Catalan exports grew in 2017 by 8.7% over the previous year and represented 25.6% of Spain’s total exports
  • During 2017, 17,091 companies exported regularly – in other words over the previous 4 consecutive years-, the highest figure on record
  • All four Catalan provinces registered record highs of exports

Catalan exports went over the 70,000 million euro figure for the first time ever in 2017, the highest figure on record and a new record for the seventh year running. In particular, Catalan exports hit 70,828.7 million euros, a growth of 8.7% year-on-year. This growth rate is higher than the European Union average (+ 7.4%) and the Euro Zone (+ 7.2%), as well as that of countries such as Italy (+ 7.4%), Germany (+ 6.3%) and France (+ 4.5%).

With 25.6% of the total, Catalonia was once again Spain’s highest exporting region in 2017, ahead of Andalusia (11.2%), Madrid (11%) and the Valencian Community (10.6%), according to data made public by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

In fact, 2017 also registered, with 17,091 companies, the highest rate on record of regular exporting companies, i.e., companies that have been selling abroad for the last four years in a row. According to the CEO of Catalonia Trade & Investment, Joan Romero, "it can be seen that having international vision is without a doubt one of the main priorities of Catalan SMEs and companies, a commitment that translates into more customers, more innovation, more diversification and above all, more competitiveness", says Romero. In fact, he underlines, "business competitiveness is an inseparable part of internationalization".

On a sectorial level, it is noteworthy that the 10 main exporting sectors in Catalonia have registered record highs, with significant growths in metallurgy and metal products (+12.7%), chemistry (9%), rubber and plastics (+6.5%), machinery (+6.3%), textiles and clothing (+5.4%), food and beverages (+5.2%), pharmaceutical products (+4.4%) and vehicles (+3.2%). In geographical terms, exports have beaten records in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America. Highlights include growth in North America (20.6%), Africa (15.2%), Asia (11.5%) and the European Union (7.2%).

According to the CEO of Catalonia Trade & Investment, "the main export sectors of Catalonia are growing, demonstrating the high level and competitiveness of the Catalan productive system, which is already fully consolidated and integrated into international trade flows and global value chains." "This trend is common throughout Catalonia, a clear commitment made by both SMEs and companies throughout the region as can be seen by the fact that there have also been record highs of exports in Tarragona, Girona and Lleida", he explains.

Thus, exports have reached record-breaking figures in the four Catalan provinces: Tarragona (8,679.6 million euros, an increase of 21.6%), Girona (5,301.2 million euros, +10.6%), Barcelona (54,771.6 million euros, +6.8%) and Lleida (2,076.3 million euros, +6.5%).




Export volumes 2017 (MEUR)


Growth 2016-2017

Barcelona 54,771.6 6.8%
Girona 5,301.2 10.6%
Lleida 2,076.3 6.5%
Tarragona 8,679.6 21.6%
Total Catalonia 70,828.7 8.7%


Source: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness