Exports rise to near all-time best at end of 2019

€55bn in Catalan goods sold abroad in 2019 so far, making up a quarter of Spain’s international sales

Image of Tarragona's chemical plant in Tarragona in May 2019 (by Núria Torres)
Image of Tarragona's chemical plant in Tarragona in May 2019 (by Núria Torres) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

November 21, 2019 03:11 PM

Catalan exports continued on the rise in September, with 10% more international sales than in the same month in 2018, reaching 6.1 billion euros, according to figures released on Thursday by Spain's industry ministry.

The first nine months of 2019 also saw that the trend in foreign sales continues upward, with a 2.9% increase compared to the January to September period last year.

Non-stop growth since 2009

If the trend continues in the last quarter, Catalonia will have experienced non-stop growth in sales abroad for a 10th year in a row, ever since its 17.9% drop in 2009, at the peak of the economic crisis.

While 41.4 billion euros of goods were sold abroad 10 years ago, the figure stood at 71.6 billion euros in 2018, and reached 55 billion euros in the first months of 2019.

Catalan international sales so far this year account for 25.6% of Spain's overall exports – Catalonia's population is 16% of Spain's, while its GDP accounts for 20%.

Chemical products (27% of total) topped exports between January and September in Catalonia, followed by capital goods (17.2%), and food, drink and tobacco (13.5%), all of which were on the rise in this period.

Concerning imports, goods worth 70.3 billion euros were bought by Catalonia between January and September, 29% of the figure for Spain, with the trade deficit – the gap between imports and exports – at 15.1 billion euros.