Catalan exports in January, 10.6% less than same month in 2020

Downward trend since pandemic began but still better than Spain’s average decrease

Container cranes in the Port of Barcelona. Archive (by ACN)
Container cranes in the Port of Barcelona. Archive (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 17, 2021 01:57 PM

Catalonia’s exports fell 10.6% in January from what they were the same month in 2020, before the pandemic hit Europe, down to €5.2 billion. This was a less significant decrease from the average across Spain, where exports saw a 11.4% fall compared to January 2020, down to 22.227 billion euros. 

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Catalan exports have suffered a downward trend. The decline seen in 2020, caused mainly by the health crisis, has been the sharpest since 2009 when exports fell by 17.9% year-on-year. In 2020, this figure was 10.3%, but having dropped down to 17% in the first half of the financial year.

This comes after 9 consecutive years of seeing rises in exports, peaking in 2019, having seen an increase of 3% on goods sold to other countries at a value of €73 billion.

The January export figures come after a couple of months of positivity in November and December 2020. In November, exports grew by 5.5%, and December saw an even larger rise, by 6.5% up to €5.759 billion. However, the first month of 2021 has marked an end to this positive trend. 

Principle exports

The country’s principal export was chemical products, worth €1.5 billion (-8.1% on the previous year).

Other major exports include capital goods (worth 800.2 million euros, -4.2% on the previous year) and food, drinks and tobacco (worth 8.14.4 million euros, -4.6% on the previous year).

Catalan exports made up 25.6% of Spain’s total exported goods.


In relation to Catalan imports, data shows that they were at 6,075 million euros, 19.3% less than in January 2020, and representing 27.3% of Spain’s total imports.