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Foreign trade in figures

Spain is open to foreign trade, which represented 60% of its GDP in 2020 (down from 67% one year earlier - World Bank). The country mainly exports motor cars (10.1%), medicaments, petroleum products other than crude, and vehicle parts; importing crude oil (5.5% of total imports), cars and vehicle parts, medicaments, telephones and petroleum gas.

According to data by Comtrade, in 2020 the main destinations for Spanish exports included France (15.4%), Germany (10.8%), Italy (7.5%), Portugal (7.3%) and the UK (6%); while imports came chiefly from Germany (11.8%), China (10.2%), France (9.9%), Italy (6.2%) and the U.S. (4.9%).

The country's trade balance for merchandise is structurally negative due to high imports of fuel and high added-value goods; although the trade in services is generally positive. In 2020, Spanish exports and imports were severely affected by the global crisis prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic: figures from WTO show that exports of goods decreased by 8% y-o-y (at USD 307 billion), as imports lost 12.8% (USD 325 billion). Trade in services followed a similar trend, with exports almost halved (-42.7% y-o-y) at USD 89.6 billion and imports totalling USD 60.2 billion (-29.5% y-o-y). In the same year, the overall trade balance of the country was positive (at almost 1.5% of GDP, down from 2.9% the previous year - World Bank). According to the latest data available from the Spanish Institute of Statistics, in the first ten months of 2021 exports of goods grew by 21.1% year-on-year to EUR 258,6 billion, while imports increased by 22.1% year-on-year to EUR 275,3 billion. In volume terms, exports rose by 13.3% y-o-y, and imports increased by 12.7%.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of goods (milions USD) 309,310351,981390,562372,750324,994
Exports of goods (milions USD) 287,415319,531346,754334,018307,015
Imports of services (milions USD) 70,96075,46581,82685,32460,252
Exports of services (milions USD) 127,132138,326155,355156,66689,641

Font: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign trade indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign trade (in % of GDP) 63.866.767.667.059.8
Trade balance (milions USD) -15,734-25,022-34,959-29,649-10,268
Trade Balance including service (milions USD) 49,39447,69538,57541,84019,181
Imports of goods and services (annual % change) 2.66.83.91.2-15.2
Exports of goods and services (annual % change) 5.45.51.72.5-20.1
Imports of goods and services (in % of GDP) 29.931.532.432.029.1
Exports of goods and services (in % of GDP) 33.935.135.235.030.6

Font: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 12.12.44.04.94.3
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 8.63.24.13.23.2

Font: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated data

 
International economic cooperation
Spain is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, European Union, ICC, Central American Integration System (SICA) (observer), WTO, Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) (observer), OECD, European Economic Area, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Spain click here. International organisation membership of Spain is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Spain can be consulted here.
 

Main country partners

Main customers
(% of exports)
2021
França 15.2%
Alemanya 9.8%
Itàlia 8.0%
Portugal 7.5%
Regne Unit 5.5%
Mostrar més països 53.9%
Main suppliers
(% of imports)
2021
Alemanya 10.6%
Xina 9.7%
França 9.5%
Itàlia 6.3%
Estats Units 4.7%
Mostrar més països 59.2%

Font: Comtrade, 2022. tableau-comtrade-note-arrondi.

 
 

Main products

391.6 milliards USD Main exports
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 8.7%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.0%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.8%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.6%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 2.1%
Other products 79.9%
426.1 milliards USD Main imports
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 6.9%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.8%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 3.6%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.8%
Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic...Human blood; animal blood prepared for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic uses; antisera and other blood fractions and immunological products, whether or not modified or obtained by means of biotechnological processes; vaccines, toxins, cultures of micro-organisms (excl. yeasts) and similar products 2.7%
Other products 80.2%

Font: Comtrade, 2022. tableau-comtrade-note-arrondi.

 
 

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Main services

83.5 milliards USD Main services exported in 2020
+
33.29%
+
22.17%
19.35%
+
11.45%
4.67%
3.51%
+
2.41%
+
2.02%
1.13%
58.4 milliards USD Main services imported in 2020
+
34.49%
17.76%
14.83%
+
11.99%
8.76%
5.70%
+
3.17%
+
3.08%
0.23%

Font: source-tableau-top-services, 2022. tableau-comtrade-note-arrondi.

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