SPANISH EXPORTS of goods in the period January-March grew by 14.1% on the same months of last year to stand at €69.74 billion, an all-time high for exports over this period and the best quarter on record.
Imports rose by 16.5% to stand at €76.94 billion. As a result, the trade deficit stands at €7.2 billion, up 45.6% on a year ago.
Spanish exports outperformed those of the Eurozone and the European Union. The coverage rate (exports over imports) stood at 90.6% (92.5% in January-March 2016).
In terms of volume, exports grew by 13.3%, since prices measured by Unit Value Indices rose by 0.8%; while imports grew by 8% following a 7.9% price rise.
Spanish exports between January and March outperformed those of other major economies, except the United Kingdom (21.4%). Eurozone exports grew by 9.5% and those of the European Union as a whole by 9.7%. They also grew in France (4.2%), Germany (8.5%) and Italy (10%). Beyond Europe, exports grew in Japan (8.5%), the United States (7.3%) and China (4.2%).
All main sectors reported strong export growth. Capital goods (accounting for 19.2% of the total) grew by 10.5%; the automotive sector (17.6% of the total) grew by 8.2%, and food, drink and tobacco (17.2% of the total) grew by 14.1%.
With regard to imports, consolidation of the economic recovery is driving growth in most sectors. Imports of capital goods (20.9% of the total) increased by 15.2% year-on-year, automotive imports (13.5% of the total) grew by 6.6%, purchases of consumer manufactures grew by 4.1%, those of food, drink and tobacco by 9.7%, and those of durable consumer goods by 5.7%.
Exports to the European Union (67.1% of the total) grew by 13.1% in the first three months of the year. Exports to the Eurozone (52.4% of the total) increased by 13.6% and those to the rest of the European Union (14.7% of the total) grew by 11.2%.
The recovery in emerging countries caused exports to third countries (32.9% of the total) to increase by 16.3% in this period, with overall growth to all regions. By geographic region, the largest growth in Spanish exports was posted in Asia excluding the Middle East (25.4%), Oceania (22.5%), North America (18.5%), Latin America (12.8%), Africa (11%) and the Middle East (6.2%). By country, it is worth noting the export growth to markets with great potential, such as China (36.6%), Canada (21.7%), the United States (18.1%), Morocco (17.8%) and Mexico (8%).
The autonomous regions posting strongest export growth were the Balearic Islands (133.7%), the Canary Islands (38.3%) and Murcia (31.1%). The lowest growth was posted in Castile-Leon (3.9%), Cantabria (5.9%) and the Region of Valencia (6.4%).