• The Synthetic Indicator of Export Activity increases by 7.7 points and records positive data
  • The recovery of the indicator responds to the more favorable perception of export activity and expectations for three and twelve months
  • The vast majority of economic sectors show positive values

The results of the Export Situation Survey corresponding to the first quarter of 2012 prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness show positive figures in the most significant variables. The companies that increased the order book in the first quarter of 2012 increased, reaching 26% with an increase of 3.9 points, and also added the Synthetic Indicator of Export Activity (ISAE)one, which increased by 7.7 points and went from -7.0% in the last quarter of 2011 to a positive figure of 0.7 points as a consequence of the more favorable expectations of export activity in the first three months of the year and of the forecasts at three and twelve months, data that also improve.

Synthetic Indicator of Export Activity (ISAE)

In the first quarter of 2012, the value of the Synthetic Indicator of Export Activity (ISAE) experienced an appreciable increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. In this quarter, the value of ISAE stood at 0.7 points, a value higher than the -7.0 points obtained in the previous quarter.

The increase in ISAE is mainly due to the more favorable perception that is registered of the behavior of export activity in this quarter and, above all, to the forecasts for three and twelve months that are also improving.

Contrary to previous quarters, it can be seen that the ISAE values ​​broken down by sector are mostly positive. The highest values ​​are found in the non-chemical semi-manufactured sector (13.6%), energy products (11.9%) and chemical products (10.2%). Only the automobile sectors (-18.4%) and the durable consumer goods sector (-7.6%) remain at negative levels.

Considering the export volume of the companies, in this quarter an improvement is observed in the companies that export between 3 and 15 million euros and a worsening among the exporting companies of less than 0.6 million euros.

The ISAE value stands at -5.3 points for companies that invoice between 0.03 to 0.6 million euros, 0.001 points for those that invoice more than 15 million euros, and 0.2 points for companies that invoice between

0.03 to 0.6 million euros and 4.4 points for companies that invoice between 3 and 15 million euros.

Portfolio of orders and expectations

The behavior of the export order book in the first quarter shows that the percentage of companies with an upward trend in their order book increases with respect to the data from the previous two quarters.

The percentage of companies with an increase in their export order book has increased 3.9 points (to 26.0%) compared to the data of the last quarter of 2011, while the percentage of companies that have indicated a The downward trend has decreased 5.0 points, standing at 32.8%. Most of the companies in the sample maintained their portfolio of export orders stable during the first quarter of 2012 (41.2%), obtaining a percentage very similar to that of the previous quarter.

Regarding expectations, the forecasts for the evolution of the order book over three months indicate an increase of 6.8 points in the percentage of companies that expect to increase their exports, reaching 30.4%. As for the companies that expect a downward evolution, said percentage increases 0.5 points with respect to the percentage of the previous quarter, standing at 25.2%.

Regarding companies that expect stability in their order book, the percentage is 44.0%, lower than the previous quarter (50.1%).

In the one-year outlook, a pattern very similar to that previously mentioned in the three-month expectations is obtained, with expectations being much more optimistic.

In this case, 39.9% of the companies surveyed expect their export order book to have an upward variation, being the difference from the previous quarter of 10.3 points. The percentage also increases, but in a more moderate way, in the case of downward expectations with a percentage of 18.3 and with a difference of 3.6 points.

Finally, the percentage of companies that consider that their work portfolio will remain stable decreases, to 38.3% (46.3% in the previous quarter).

Export prices and trade margin

Evolution of the company's own export prices

As in previous quarters, most companies, 60.2%, consider that their export prices have remained stable. This percentage is 2.6 points lower than in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The percentage of companies that consider that export prices have evolved upwards has increased 6.0 points, reaching 15.8%. Finally, the percentage of companies that consider that their export prices have decreased has been 22.2% of the companies surveyed, falling 3.9 points compared to the previous quarter.

– Evolution of the export profit margin

In the same way, most companies consider that their export commercial profit margin remains stable in the first quarter of the year, specifically at 50.5% (increasing 0.7 points compared to the result of the previous quarter). The percentage of companies that consider that their profit margins have dropped stands at 35.6% (5.0 points less than in the previous quarter). Finally, the percentage of companies that have increased their profit margin is 8.6%, increasing 2.6 points to the result obtained in the last quarter.

Factors that affect export activity

The factor with a positive impact on export activity most widely cited by the companies surveyed has been the evolution of external demand (32.3% of those surveyed), followed by competition in quality (15.0%) and exchange rate (10.8%).

Regarding negative factors, the companies surveyed consider that the factors that affect them most in exports are the price of raw materials (67.6% of the companies surveyed), the price of oil (67.4%), price competition (53.3%) and the availability of external financing (36.5%).

Main export markets

In the first quarter of 2012, 47.8% of companies that regularly export to the European Union have maintained stable export orders to this destination. 21.6% have increased community orders, while 29.5% have reduced it. Regarding the Euro zone, 20.5% of companies indicate that the order book has evolved upwards, while 29.9% of companies surveyed consider that their orders have been reduced.

Likewise, the stability of the evolution of export orders in the first quarter has been the most chosen option by companies that regularly export to the other destinations considered, with the highest percentages corresponding to Oceania (53.5%), the rest of the countries of the European Union that do not belong to the Euro Zone (50.8%) and the rest of Europe that does not belong to the EU of 27 (48.9%).

Compared to the previous quarter, the order book has improved substantially for certain export destinations, such as Asia (8.3 points more than in the previous quarter), Africa (7.2 points more), Oceania (6.6 points more), Latin America (5.5 points more) and North America (4.7 points more). Orders to Europe have increased, although to a lesser extent.

Regarding the three-month forecasts of the evolution of the export order book, 48.0% of the companies that regularly export to the EU-27 expect their orders in this destination to remain stable and 30.4 % that increase. For their part, 20.4% of companies believe that their sales in the European Union will decrease in the next three months.

For companies that regularly export to the other geographical areas, the three-month forecasts have been largely stable, with percentages of 53.5% for Oceania and 51.5% for other countries of the European Union that do not belong to the Euro Zone.

Compared to the previous quarter, it should be noted that upward expectations experience a substantial improvement for all the regions considered, especially for the EU-27 (8.3 points more than in the previous quarter), Asia (7, 5 more points) and Africa (10.4 more points).

one.- The ISAE is an indicator that summarizes the information provided by the companies interviewed about the evolution of their portfolio of export orders in the reference quarter and the perspectives on it at three and twelve months.

This indicator can take values ​​between -100 and +100, so that positive values ​​indicate a better perception of export activity and / or forecasts regarding its future evolution by the companies in the sample and vice versa.

Complete report and graphs of the survey: www.mineco.es



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