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As Brexit approaches, Catalan exports to UK reached €3.9bn

Sales from Catalonia to Britain 9% higher so far in 2019 compared with same period last year


10 October 2019 07:41 PM


ACN | Barcelona

With the deadline for the UK to leave the European Union coming up in just three weeks, new trade and industry ministry figures show that Catalonia exported goods worth 3.9 billion euros to Britain in 2018, some 2.5% less than the previous year.

Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the impending Brexit and how it might affect trade between EU states and the UK, but in the first seven months of this year, Catalan exports to Britain were 9.1% higher than in the same period last year, amounting to 2.6 billion euros.

Topping the list of sectors exporting to the UK last year was the automotive industry, which accounted for over a billion euros in sales, making up 30% of all Catalan exports, followed by semi-finished goods, which amounted to sales of just under a billion.

Meanwhile, Catalan sales to the UK last year accounted for 20% of all the exports to Britain from Spain, which amounted to a total of 18.9 billion euros, a 0.14% increase on the previous year. So far this year, exports to the UK from Spain as a whole are up over 2%. 

Catalan exports by region

In Catalonia, most of the exports to the UK where from companies in the Barcelona region, accounting for 76.9% of the total, followed by the Tarragona area with 14.3% of sales, then Girona with 6.3%, and finally Lleida with 2.3%.

For Tarragona and Girona, UK sales went up last year 4.9% (to €562m) and 1% (to €250m) respectively, while Barcelona and Lleida saw their sales drop 4% (to €3bn) and 8.2% (to €92m). Yet, in Barcelona and Girona, exports so far in 2019 are up 13% and 3.6%

As for goods imported into Catalonia from the UK last year, the ministry's figures show that they rose 11.7% to 2.8 billion euros, while in the first seven months of 2019 imports from Britain are also up 6.3% to 1.7 billion euros compared with the same period last year.


  • Freight containers at the Barcelona port (by Lluis Sibils)

  • Freight containers at the Barcelona port (by Lluis Sibils)