2020 sees fall in Catalan export figures after ten years on the rise

Sales abroad dropped by 10.3% in the year the coronavirus pandemic began, worst results since 2009

Image of Barcelona's port on April 24, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons)
Image of Barcelona's port on April 24, 2020 (by Àlex Recolons) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 19, 2021 12:43 PM

In the year that the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world, Catalan exports fell after ten consecutive years on the rise. 

During 2020, Catalonia sold products abroad for €66.265 billion, 10.3% less than the previous year. The first half of 2020 alone saw export figures drop by 17%.

In 2019, exports beat records for a 9th year in a row, having seen an increase of 3% on goods sold to other countries at a value of €73 billion.

The decline seen in 2020, caused mainly by the health crisis, is the sharpest since 2009 when exports fell by 17.9% year-on-year. 

According to data published this Friday by Spain’s industry ministry, sales abroad show similar figures to 2016, when Catalonia exported products for €65.161 billion. 

Despite the fall of the last financial year, Catalonia closed the year on a positive note. In November, exports grew by 5.5%, and December saw an even larger rise, by 6.5% up to €5.759 billion.

The chemical industry saw the biggest share of sales abroad, 29.2% of total exports in Catalonia. Nevertheless, sales abroad in this sector actually fell by 2.8% year-on-year.

In second place are food, beverages and tobacco, which account for 16.6% of exports and this year increased their sales volume by 7%. Capital goods followed, with a share of 16.2% of total exports and a 16% year-on-year drop in sales volume.

Despite the general decline in sales abroad, Catalonia leads all of Spain in terms of exports, accounting for 25.4%.