The highest figure of all exports on record
In 2016, Catalan exports grew 2.0% over 2015, reaching €65,141.9M, the sixth consecutive year showing record highs. This figure is, for the third year running, higher than the Eurozone average (0.7%) and the EU (-0.1%) and is also higher than the Spanish exports as a whole, at 1.7%.
Catalonia leads Spain’s exports, with 25.6% of the total, well above the region of Valencia coming second (11.3%), and the region of Madrid (11.1%) in third place. Catalonia accounts for 30.4% of the total Spanish state’s export growth.
In 2016, a total of 48,035 Catalan companies exported, 1.3% more than in 2015. 16,929 are regular exporters (companies that have exported over the past four years in a row), 3.2 % more than in 2015, reaching a new record high for the fourth consecutive year.
Of the 16,929 regular Catalan exporters, 1,450 (an 8.6% of the total) exported to a value of over €5M, accounting for 87.6% of the exports of the total regular exporting companies in 2016.
The automotive sector (17.9% of the total) and the chemical industry (16.4%) were Catalonia’s main export sectors in 2016, followed by the food industry (12.3%). Along with pharmaceuticals (7.4%), textiles and clothing (7.1%) and machinery (6.3%), six sectors account for two-thirds of Catalan exports.
In 2016, what stands out is the growth in vehicle exports(6.5%), food and beverage (7.3%), pharmaceuticals (7.6%) and computer and electronic products (13.7%). By contrast, exports decreased in chemicals (-1.7%), textiles and clothing (-3.2%) and metallurgy (-3.0%).
Exports of high-technology products grew 8.9% in 2016, well above the growth in exports in the rest of all technology levels. Catalan exports are concentrated at a medium-high technology level, representing almost half (49.6%) of industrial exports in 2016.
The EU accounted for 65.8% of Catalan exports in 2016, 7 percentage points more than in 2015. It is followed by the rest of Europe (7.4%) and Asia (6.5%), which moves to third place in terms of exported volume, ahead of Latin America (5.9%). France accounts for 16.1% of Catalan exports. Germany (11.9%), along with Italy (9.1%), Portugal (6.7%) and the UK (6.0%) represent nearly half (49.7%) of Catalan exports in 2016.
Catalan exports to the EU increased 3.3% in 2016. What stands out is the growth in France (6.9%), Italy (5.7%), Belgium (22.5%) and Germany (2.1%) respectively, the main contributors to the increase in Catalan exports for 2016. However, mention must be made of the decrease shown by the UK (-4.3%) as a result of the depreciation of the sterling.
Globally, the fastest growing regions in terms of exports are Oceania (14.9%), especially noteworthy being Australia (14.7%), and the rest of Europe (5.6%), with Switzerland (5.8% ) and Turkey (7.5%) standing out. Catalan exports also grew in Asia (4.0%), driven by China (9.0%). By contrast, exports declined in Latin America (-7.7%) due to the downturn in Brazil (-25.2%). Africa also falls (-5.6%) and the Middle East, where the fall in Saudi Arabia is noteworthy (-4.5%).