International Sales Opportunities for Exports to Spain

Spanish matador fights bull

Spanish matador

The fact that Spain imported US$32.3 billion more worth of products than it exported during 2014 is good news for suppliers around the globe.

That’s because the multi-billion dollar trade deficit represents international sales opportunities for exports to Spain since the country is a net spender on a specific set of goods highlighted below.

Drilling down from its overall negative balance, Spain performed worst in its international trade with partners from Asia incurring a -$31.4 billion shortfall. Exporters in Africa also profited at Spain’s expense, accounting for a -$15.6 billion trade deficit at Spain’s expense. Latin American (excluding Mexican) and Caribbean exporters also satisfied demand as shown by their collective -$3 billion Spanish deficit.

Country-specific trade deficits indicate Spain’s competitive disadvantages and areas which foreign businesses can and do exploit. Spain accumulated the world’s ninth-biggest trade deficit during 2014.

Spain’s trade deficit in 2014 shrank by 53.3% since 2010 when its negative balance was -$69.3 billion.

International Sales Opportunities for Exports to Spain

Top 10

The following list shows the top 10 general product categories under which Spain racked up the severest trade deficits during 2014.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$50.5 billion (48.1% of all product deficits)
  2. Electronic equipment: -$7.2 billion (6.8%)
  3. Organic chemicals: -$5.6 billion (5.4%)
  4. Machinery: -$5.3 billion (5.1%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$4.5 billion (4.3%)
  6. Ores, slag, ash: -$3.3 billion (3.2%)
  7. Fish: -$2.9 billion (2.8%)
  8. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$2.8 billion (2.7%)
  9. Cereals: -$2.6 billion (2.5%)
  10. Pharmaceuticals: -$2.5 billion (2.4%)

The above top 10 product categories represent 83.1% of Spain’s overall product-category deficit subtotal which amounted to -$105 billion. For that subtotal, 48 of Spain’s 97 general product categories incurred deficits in 2014 while the remaining 49 categories delivered surplus amounts.

Growth

Spain deepened its trade deficit amounts at the greatest-pace during 2010 to 2014 under the product categories below.

  1. Sugar, sugar confectionery: Up 119% since 2010 (-US$461.9 million)
  2. Vegetable plaiting materials: Up 83.6% (-$18.5 million)
  3. Organic chemicals: Up 40% (-$5.6 billion)
  4. Manmade staple fibers: Up 38.6% (-$239.6 million)
  5. Oil seed: Up 37.3% (-$2.2 billion)
  6. Cereals: Up 36.9% (-$2.6 billion)
  7. Coffee, tea, spices: Up 35.4% (-$805.3 million)
  8. Miscellaneous manufactured articles: Up 21.5% (-$265.9 million)
  9. Cocoa: Up 17.7% (-$475.8 million)
  10. Mineral fuels including oil: Up 10.5% (-$50.5 billion)

Detail

From the perspective of the more detailed 4-digit harmonized tariff system (HTS) level, below are 15 products that pushed Spain into the most costly deficits versus its international trade partners.

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  1. Crude oil: -US$42.7 billion
  2. Petroleum gases: -$10.9 billion
  3. Automobile parts/accessories: -$9 billion
  4. Phone system devices: -$4.9 billion
  5. Computers, optical readers: -$3.1 billion
  6. Medication mixes in dosage: -$2.5 billion
  7. Copper ores, concentrates: -$1.9 billion
  8. Iron or steel scrap: -$1.8 billion
  9. Soya beans: -$1.8 billion
  10. Heterocyclics, nucleic acids: -$1.8 billion
  11. Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays): -$1.5 billion
  12. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$1.5 billion
  13. Corn: -$1.5 billion
  14. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: -$1.3 billion
  15. Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: -$1.1 billion

Among these, automobile parts and accessories had the fastest-growing Spanish deficit accelerating by 98.5% since 2010. In second place was corn up 64.5% while negative net exports for crude oil appreciated by 41.7%.



 

Major International Sales by Spain’s Supplying Countries

Top 10

The following list presents trade partners with which Spain racked up the highest trade deficits in 2014.

  1. China: -US$20.8 billion (20.4% of Spanish country-specific deficits)
  2. Germany: -$9.4 billion (9.2%)
  3. Nigeria: -$8.2 billion (8%)
  4. Algeria: -$7.1 billion (7%)
  5. Russia: -$4.6 billion (4.5%)
  6. Netherlands: -$4.2 billion (4.1%)
  7. Saudi Arabia: -$3.9 billion (3.9%)
  8. Angola: -$3.2 billion (3.2%)
  9. Vietnam: -$2.4 billion (2.4%)
  10. Mexico: -$2.1 billion (2.1%)

The above 10 trade partners represent 65.6% of Spain’s subtotal deficit of -$101.9 billion from the 89 geographic entities with which Spain demonstrated strong import demand. That subtotal excludes the 139 geographic entities with which Spain earned trade surpluses.

Growth

Spain grew its trade deficit amounts with the geographic entities below at the fastest-pace during 2010 to 2014, providing evidence of accelerating demand for exports from these international suppliers.

  1. Latvia: Up 34,824% since 2010 (-US$552.9 million)
  2. Christmas Islands: Up 2,800% (-$29,000)
  3. Colombia: Up 2,703% (-$2 billion)
  4. Tuvalu: Up 1,500% (-$48,000)
  5. Angola: Up 1,191% (-$3.2 billion)
  6. Mexico: Up 1,134% (-$2.1 billion)
  7. Saint Helena: Up 806.3% (-$145,000)
  8. Cook Islands: Up 588.5% (-$179,000)
  9. Nicaragua: Up 518.1% (-$64.8 million)
  10. Kazakhstan: Up 415.5% (-$1.9 billion)

From the above list, Spain mostly showed major product sales disadvantages versus this group of traders with comparatively small populations and in some cases for small deficit amounts. However, Spain did generate billion-dollar negative trade balances with Angola, Mexico, Colombia and Kazakhstan.

China

Below are the products that resulted in the greatest Spanish deficits in international trade with China.

  1. Phone system devices: -US$1.9 billion (9.3% of Spain’s deficit vs. China)
  2. Computers, optical readers: -$1.3 billion (6.4%)
  3. Cases, handbags, wallets: -$765.5 million (3.7%)
  4. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): -$566.5 million (2.7%)
  5. Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys: -$563.7 million (2.7%)
  6. Footwear (rubber or plastic): -$455.3 million (2.2%)
  7. Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs: -$441.2 million (2.1%)
  8. Women’s clothing (not knit or crochet): -$429.4 million (2.1%)
  9. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: -$417.7 million (2%)
  10. Footwear (textile): -$396.5 million (1.9%)

Lamps, lighting and illuminated signs had the fastest-growing Spanish deficit with China accelerating by 61% from 2010 to 2014. In second place were phone system devices up 28.2% followed by electric water heaters and hair dryers increasing by 19.9%.

Germany

Below are the products that resulted in the greatest Spanish deficits in international trade with Germany.

  1. Automobile parts/accessories: -US$2.8 billion (29.8% of Spain’s deficit vs. Germany)
  2. Medication mixes in dosage: -$960.7 million (10.2%)
  3. Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: -$632.5 million (6.7%)
  4. Piston engines: -$432.5 million (4.6%)
  5. Printing machinery: -$396.4 million (4.2%)
  6. Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated): -$381.6 million (4.1%)
  7. Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): -$353.6 million (3.8%)
  8. Computers, optical readers: -$314.1 million (3.3%)
  9. Taps, valves, similar appliances: -$306.1 million (3.3%)
  10. Engines (diesel): -$285.4 million (3%)

Among these, piston engines had the fastest-growing Spanish deficit with Germany accelerating by 970.1% from 2010 to 2014. In second place was printing machinery up 115.5% followed by electro-medical equipment like xrays increasing by 37.6%.

Nigeria

Below are the products that resulted in the greatest Spanish deficits in international trade with Nigeria.

  1. Crude oil: -US$7.4 billion (86.3% of Spain’s deficit vs. ria)
  2. Petroleum gases: -$1.1 billion (12.6%)
  3. Cocoa beans: -$31.5 million (0.4%)
  4. Cocoa paste: -$12.9 million (0.1%)
  5. Sheep/lamb skin leather: -$12.7 million (0.1%)
  6. Natural rubber: -$12.5 million (0.1%)
  7. Goat/kidskin leather: -$10.5 million (0.1%)
  8. Lead waste, scrap: -$3 million (0.04%)
  9. Chamois leather: -$1.8 million (0.02%)
  10. Crustaceans (including lobsters): -$1.4 million (0.02%)

Among these, chamois leather had the fastest-growing Spanish deficit with Nigeria accelerating by 89.5% from 2010 to 2014. In second place was goat or kidskin leather up 57.1% followed by cocoa beans increasing by 23.2%.

See also Spain’s Top 10 Imports, Spain’s Top Import Partners, Spain’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value Spanish Export Products

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on December 24, 2015

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on December 24, 2015

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on December 24, 2015