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The Exporters' Club celebrates a new all-time high for Spanish exports in January-February

Although the entity shows its concern about the inflationary spiral
Antonio Bonet, President of the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club

 -   Antonio Bonet, President of the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club

The Spanish Exporters and Investors Club is very positive about the 28.3% growth in Spanish exports in the first two months of the year, which represents a new historic figure for the foreign sector. However, it is concerned about the inflationary spiral that is hitting consumers and companies at levels notably higher than those of other countries in the euro zone. If this inflationary differential continues over time, Spanish companies will lose competitiveness. 

The Exporters' Club stresses that the large increase in exports in January and February has been due to the fact that exporting companies have been able to pass on the cost increases they have experienced to their clients. Thus, while export volume grew by 11%, export prices grew by 15%.

Imports, on the other hand, grew by 43.5% in the first two months of the year, as a result of a 17% increase in volume and a 23% increase in import prices.

This is the reason why the trade deficit has soared. The Spanish trade balance recorded a deficit of 10,774.7 million euros in the first two months of the year, a figure that almost quadruples the figure for the same period in 2021, in a context marked by the high rise in the price of the oil and gas we import. 

For the Exporters' Club, the non-energy trade balance is also a source of concern. While in the first two months of 2021 there was a surplus (excluding energy products) of 260 million euros, this year there has been a deficit of 3.8 billion.

With regard to the destination of Spanish exports, in the first two months of the year there was a slight increase in the concentration of sales to the European Union. Specifically, sales to the euro zone accounted for 63% of the total, after increasing by 31.7% compared to the same period last year.

The Exporters' Club also highlights the positive fact that the year-on-year growth of Spanish exports between January and February was higher than that of neighbouring economies, such as France (23%), the United Kingdom (19.3%) and Germany (12.8%). And even that of some economies outside Europe, such as the US (18.4%), China (13.6%) and Japan (14.4%).

Concern about the inflationary spiral

Despite the positive export data, the Spanish Exporters and Investors Club is concerned about "the inflationary spiral that is already hitting consumers and companies". In Spain, the CPI stood at 9.8% in March, the highest since 1985, and considerably higher than in other Eurozone countries. 

"This inflationary differential makes us lose competitiveness, which could mean that our exports stop growing and our imports grow even more, worsening the trade deficit and diminishing the role that the foreign sector has played in recent years as an engine of economic growth," says Antonio Bonet, president of the Exporters and Investors Club. 

The organisation also highlights the efforts of companies to "overcome the problems arising from the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, both due to the shortage of raw materials and the increase in raw material prices".