Vehicle exports recover the growth of the balance of the trade balance, after two consecutive years of falls in this item. Although the value of vehicle sales grew by only 0.6%, to 35,957 million euros, the lowest value of vehicle imports in 2019, with a reduction of 0.6% compared to the previous year and a value of 21,880 million euros, boost the balance of the commercial balance of vehicles up to 14,077 million, 2.5% more than in the previous period when it closed with a positive balance of 13,728 million euros. It is placed as well as the first sector of positive balance of the Spanish economy, surpassing the following sector by more than 1,000 million euros, the food sector (12,943 million euros).
In this way, the automotive sector as a whole has generated in 2019 a positive balance in Spain's trade balance of 7,881 million euros, which represents an increase of 1.7% Compared to the same period of the previous year. Exports have reduced their value slightly in the whole of the year, with a fall of 1%, to 47,766 million euros, while the value of imports has been reduced by 1.5%.
In the month of December, the automotive sector contributed 482 million euros of positive balance to the Spanish trade balance, 848.4% compared to the same month of the previous year. The sector's exports in that month grew 15.2%, to 3,423 million. For its part, vehicle exports in the month of December have grown by 21.8%, to 2,642 million, which leaves a positive balance in the last month of the year of 874 million, 230% more. The bad behavior of the month of December 2018, whose balance barely exceeded 200 million, justify this great growth in the month.
During 2019, Spanish vehicle exports have mainly been directed to the European Union, with nine of the 10 main destination countries belonging to this area. Only the US enters the Top-10 as the ninth destination and with exports worth 694 million euros. The Top-3 is made up of Germany (7,407 million euros), France (6,929 million euros) and the United Kingdom (4,606 million euros), which among the 3 represent 52.7% of total vehicle exports. Regarding vehicle imports, the contribution from Germany (5,993 million euros) and France (3,240 million euros), which accounts for 42% of the total, stand out. However, they have reduced their imports to Spain by 9.6% and 3.6% respectively. Only Japan (in fourth position), Turkey and the Republic of Korea are in the Top-10 importers from outside Europe.
Although European vehicle markets have shown irregular behavior throughout the year, the automotive sector as a whole has positioned itself as one of the main exporters of the Spanish market, with 47.766 million euros, ranking as the third sector with the highest export value, behind capital goods (52,510 million euros) and food (48,635 million euros). “This demonstrates the strength and capacity of vehicle factories located in Spain to adapt and overcome the situation of geopolitical changes and commercial tensions. Vehicles manufactured in Spain are having a great reception in the European market, increasing their market share in 2019, ”said Aránzazu Mur, director of the Economic and Logistics Area of ANFAC.