"In a complex and commercial tensions environment, these data confirm the resilience and power of our export sector," said Méndez; "The Spanish economy has faced the difficult international situation from a solid position, with growth that continues to be superior to that of our main European partners and that allows us to continue creating jobs."

Imports increased by 1% to 322,069 million euros. As a result, the annual accumulated trade deficit was reduced by 5.5%, remaining at 31,980 million euros. The coverage rate (ratio between exports and imports) stood at 90.1% (89.4% in 2018).

The main positive contributions to the annual variation rate of exports came from the food, beverage and tobacco sector (1 point), capital goods (0.7 points), chemical products (0.5 points) and consumer products ( 0.3 points). The main negative contributions came from the energy products (-0.5 points), raw materials (-0.2 points), automobile (-0.1 points) and non-chemical semi-manufactured (-0.1 points) sectors.

Exports to the EU (65.7% of the total) increased by 2%. Those directed to the euro zone (51.5% of the total) increased by 1.7%. Those directed to the rest of the EU (14.3% of the total) increased by 3.2%.

Exports to third destinations (34.3% of the total) increased 1.3%, with increases to North America (9.2%), Asia excluding the Middle East (7.4%) and Africa (0.5% ). Those destined for the Middle East (-8.5%), Oceania (-2.7%) and Latin America (-1.1%) were reduced.

The Autonomous Communities with the highest growth in their exports were Aragón (13.1%), Principality of Asturias (12%) and Comunidad Foral de Navarra (11.6%). The greatest decreases occurred in the Balearic Islands (-8.6%), Castilla y León (-4.6%) and the Canary Islands (-4.1%).

December 2019 data

In the last month of December, Spanish merchandise exports increased by 6.6% compared to the same month of 2018, to 22,566 million euros.

Imports increased 1% year-on-year to € 24,660 million. As a result, a deficit of 2,094 million euros was recorded in December 2019, 35.5% less than in the same month of 2018. The coverage rate stood at 91.5% (+ 4.8 points compared to as of December 2018).

With the seasonally adjusted and corrected series of the calendar effect, exports rose 4.7% year-on-year and imports decreased 0.5%.

The non-energy balance showed a deficit of 135 million euros (deficit of 1,062 million euros in December 2018) and the energy deficit decreased by 10.4%.

The increase in exports in December of Spain (6.6%) is greater than that registered in the euro zone (3.1%) and in the EU (4.6%).

The main contributions to export growth came from the food, beverage and tobacco sector (2 points), automobile sector (1.9 points), non-chemical semi-manufactured goods (1.6 points) and consumer products (1.2 points) . The only sectors with a negative contribution were capital goods (-2 points) and raw materials (-0.1 points).

In December 2019, exports to the EU accounted for 63.8% of the total (63.9% in December 2018) and increased by 6.4%. Those aimed at the euro zone rose 5.9% and those destined for the rest of the EU rose 8%. Of the main partners, the increases in sales to France (14.6%), Italy (13.3%), Portugal (10.9%) and the United Kingdom (3.3%) stand out, compared to declines in sales. directed to Germany (-9.9%). Finally, exports to third countries (non-EU) accounted for 36.2% of the total and rose 7.1% year-on-year.

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