Catalan exports set new record in 2023, exceeding €100bn for first time

Exports up 6.1% on 2022 and account for over a quarter of Spain's total

Shipping containers in the Port of Barcelona
Shipping containers in the Port of Barcelona / Norma Vidal

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

February 19, 2024 01:19 PM

February 19, 2024 10:05 PM

Catalan exports reached a new record high in 2023, climbing to over €100 billion for the first time. 

The total of €100.684 billion was 6.1% more than in 2022, which was the previous record

Catalonia exported more than any other Autonomous Community in Spain, accounting for over a quarter of total exports, 26.2% to be precise. 

Particularly strong growth was recorded in the automotive sector, in chemical products and in capital goods. 

The European Union was the top destination for goods, in particular France, Germany, Italy and Poland. 

Outside the EU, exports to the United Kingdom, Turkey, Mexico, Morocco, Vietnam and Australia grew significantly. 

"Excellent" year

Catalan business minister Roger Torrent pointed out at an event on Monday that exports represent one-third of Catalan GDP. 

"It's a greater proportion than in economies we always look up to, like Denmark or Sweden," the minister said. 


Torrent described the 2023 export data as "excellent," especially taking into account the global context.  

As well as the figures, he said it was also important "there are more and more businesses that are capable of being competitive on the international stage and that have this calling to open up new markets."

Automotive sales grow 39% 

By sector, automotive exports grew by 39.1%, capital goods by 5.5%, food by 4.3%, and chemicals by 3.8%. 

Agri-food exports exceeded €15 billion for the first time.  

Almost two-thirds of exports, 61.6%, were to countries in the euro zone, with France (17.6% of the total), Germany (10.3%) and Italy (9.4%) the main buyers. The United States (3.6%) and Turkey (2.7%) were the two main destinations outside the EU. 

The minister emphasized that in the last 10 years Catalan exports have increased by 70.8% and have grown continuously, with the only exception of 2020, marked by the pandemic.  

In Spain as a whole, exports fell by 1.4% to €383.7 billion.