Spain’s Top 10 Exports

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The Kingdom of Spain shipped US$320.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 3% uptick since 2013 and a 13.6% increase from 2016 to 2017.

As of June 2018, Spain’s exported goods were valued at $179.5 billion up 13.6% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Spain is located on western Europe’s Iberian Peninsula and bordered by Portugal to its northwest, France and Andorra to its northeast and whose southern region features Europe’s only shared border with an African nation namely Morocco.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Spain’s exported goods plus services represent 34.2% of total Spanish economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, well over two-thirds (69.4%) of Spanish exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 11.1% were sold to Asian importers. Spain shipped another 6.6% worth of goods to North American clients with 6.2% going to Africa and 3.9% sent to Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean.

Given Spain’s population of 49 million people, its total $320.1 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $6,500 for every resident in that country.

Spain’s unemployment rate was 16.55% as of December 2017 down from 18.6% in January of the same year, according to Trading Economics.

Spain’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Spanish global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Spain.

At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Spain’s most valuable exports are cars followed by refined petroleum oils, automotive parts or accessories, drugs and medicines, trucks then olive oil.

  1. Vehicles: US$57 billion (17.8% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $24.4 billion (7.6%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $22.3 billion (7%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $17.1 billion (5.3%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $12.4 billion (3.9%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $11.6 billion (3.6%)
  7. Fruits, nuts: $9.6 billion (3%)
  8. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $8.6 billion (2.7%)
  9. Articles of iron or steel: $7.5 billion (2.3%)
  10. Iron, steel: $7.3 billion (2.3%)

Spain’s top 10 exports accounted for 55.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories up 102.3% from 2016 to 2017, led by higher international revenues from refined petroleum oils.

A distant second for Spain’s improving export sales was the iron and steel category which gained 18.9%. Unknit and non-crocheted clothing and accessories posted a 15% uptick, just ahead of the 14.9% increase for plastics and items made from plastic.

The category posting Spain’s most modest gain was vehicles, up 5.7%.

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Spain’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.

Advantages

The following types of Spanish product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Vehicles: US$11.1 billion (Down by -14.8% since 2016)
  2. Fruits, nuts: $6.6 billion (Up by 8%)
  3. Vegetables: $5.5 billion (Up by 5.6%)
  4. Meat: $4.9 billion (Up by 12.2%)
  5. Ceramic products: $3 billion (Up by 6.8%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: $2.9 billion (Up by 10.6%)
  7. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $2.6 billion (Up by 18.4%)
  8. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $2.3 billion (Up by 9.1%)
  9. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $2 billion (Up by 11.3%)
  10. Copper: $1.5 billion (Up by 11.3%)

Spain has highly positive net exports particularly for cars and also trucks. In turn, these cashflows indicate Spain’s strong competitive advantages under the vehicles product category.

Opportunities

Spain incurred an overall -$30.3 billion trade deficit during 2017. That negative trade balance represents a 45.7% increase from the -$20.8 billion in red ink that Spain sustained one year earlier.

As of June 2018, Spain’s trade deficit stood at -$19.4 billion up 52.9% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

Below are exports from Spain that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits during 2017. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Spain’s goods trail Spanish importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$23.4 billion (Up by 7.9% since 2016)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$10.2 billion (Up by 17.6%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$9.5 billion (Up by 7.3%)
  4. Organic chemicals: -$5.4 billion (Up by 16%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$5.2 billion (Up by 5.9%)
  6. Fish: -$3.4 billion (Up by 7.9%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$2.8 billion (Down by -8.9%)
  8. Cereals: -$2.8 billion (Up by 11.5%)
  9. Iron, steel: -$2.6 billion (Up by 117.2%)
  10. Ores, slag, ash: -$2.6 billion (Up by 26.3%)

Spain has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for crude oil, petroleum gases and coal under the mineral fuels including oil category.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Spain’s competitive disadvantages in the international market for mineral fuels-related products, but also represent key opportunities for Spain to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations in cleaner alternative energy sources.

Companies

Spanish Export Companies

Twenty-seven corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Spanish companies that Forbes included:

  • Abertis (other transportation)
  • Ferrovial (other transportation)
  • Grifols (biotech products)
  • Repsol YPF (oil, gas)
  • Telefónica (telecommunications services)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of Spanish export companies:

  • Mahou Sa (malt beer, wine, vodka)
  • Nemak Spain (internal combustion engines, vehicle parts and accessories)
  • Repsol (oil)
  • Telefónica (telecommunications equipment)


 
Spain’s capital city is Madrid.

Searchable List of Spain’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Spain’s top export products are cars, refined petroleum oils, auto parts or accessories, drugs and medicines followed by trucks then olive oil.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Spain during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankSpanish Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Cars$35.8 billion+0.6%
2Processed petroleum oils$12.7 billion+52.7%
3Automobile parts/accessories$10.8 billion+8.7%
4Medication mixes in dosage$7.7 billion+2.3%
5Trucks$6 billion+2.4%
6Olive oil$4.14 billion+18.2%
7Swine meat$4.07 billion+14.6%
8Aircraft, spacecraft$3.8 billion+136.1%
9Fresh or dried citrus fruit$3.6 billion+3.1%
10Wine $3.3 billion+9.8%
11Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$3.1 billion+18.2%
12Unglazed ceramic flags, paving, wall tiles$3 billion+1,305%
13Aircraft parts$2.7 billion-21.7%
14Blood fractions (including antisera)$2.5 billion+8.8%
15Insulated wire/cable$2.2 billion+13.8%
16Rubber tires (new)$2.1 billion+4%
17Copper ores, concentrates$2.1 billion+76.6%
18Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$2.1 billion+9.2%
19Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$1.9 billion+20.9%
20Engines (diesel)$1.9 billion-0.04%
21Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$1.8 billion+6.2%
22Turbo-jets$1.8 billion+69.6%
23Perfumes, toilet waters$1.8 billion+12.9%
24Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$1.8 billion+8.3%
25Footwear (leather)$1.7 billion-2.5%
26Lower-voltage switches, fuses$1.6 billion+8.9%
27Electric generating sets, converters$1.6 billion+4.5%
28Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$1.6 billion+14.1%
29Ethylene polymers$1.5 billion+3.4%
30Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$1.5 billion+72.4%
31Miscellaneous furniture$1.5 billion+4.2%
32Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$1.5 billion+21.6%
33T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$1.4 billion+11.3%
34Taps, valves, similar appliances$1.4 billion+3.6%
35Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$1.3 billion+9%
36Biodiesel$1.3 billion+21.9%
37Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$1.3 billion+16.4%
38Tractors$1.3 billion+5.4%
39Gold (unwrought)$1.3 billion-6.5%
40Apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums$1.2 billion+0.2%
41Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$1.2 billion+8.1%
42Miscellaneous iron or steel items$1.2 billion+6.1%
43Zinc (unwrought)$1.1 billion+61.2%
44Tomatoes (fresh/chilled)$1.1 billion+6.5%
45Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$1.1 billion+8%
46Flat-rolled stainless steel items$1.1 billion+21.6%
47Other prepared/preserved vegetables (non-frozen)$1.1 billion-1.5%
48Refined copper, unwrought alloys$1.1 billion+1.6%
49Cases, handbags, wallets$1.1 billion+10.9%
50Lifting/loading machinery$1 billion+8%
51Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)$1 billion+9%
52Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$1 billion+9.3%
53Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$1 billion-4.1%
54Machinery parts$1 billion+18.4%
55Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$1 billion+22.4%
56Aluminum bars/rods$1 billion+18.2%
57Electrical energy$994.1 million+229.2%
58Pigments, enamels, glazes$988 million+8.3%
59Petroleum oil residues$966.8 million+61.1%
60Miscellaneous plastic items$964.6 million+16.5%
61Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$954.4 million+22.7%
62Propylene/olefin polymers$954 million+10.8%
63Other organic cleaning preparations$951.9 million+11.7%
64Copper wire$947.4 million+38.9%
65Molluscs$947.3 million+20.6%
66Miscellaneous machinery$934.6 million+11.9%
67Electric storage batteries$923.1 million+26.7%
68Whole fish (frozen)$909.5 million+15%
69Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$897.8 million+8.8%
70Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$894.5 million+6.5%
71Electric water heaters, hair dryers$868.9 million+10.8%
72Piston engine parts$866.8 million+2.2%
73Phone system devices $851.7 million+3.9%
74Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$843 million+19.2%
75Fruit and vegetable juices$824 million+23.4%
76Table games, bowling equipment$821.3 million+138.4%
77Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$820.3 million+5.5%
78Lettuce$811.6 million+2.6%
79Computers, optical readers$799.9 million+41.4%
80Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$792.8 million+32.5%
81Piston engines$780.1 million-26.8%
82Aluminum (unwrought)$779 million+25.3%
83Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$773.6 million+12.7%
84 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $769 million+11%
85Electrical converters/power units$748.3 million-4.7%
86Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$741.9 million-4.1%
87Temperature-change machines$736.2 million+22.9%
88Medication mixes not in dosage$732.9 million+27.1%
89Cellulose fiber paper$726.9 million+4.2%
90Liquid pumps and elevators$722.2 million-4.4%
91Iron or steel tubes, pipes$702.7 million+12.6%
92Melons, watermelons, papayas$694.8 million-2.2%
93Miscellaneous nuts$688.4 million-8%
94Self-propelled streetcar/railway coaches$684.4 million+42.8%
95Interchangeable hand/machine tools$683.6 million+58%
96Other food preparations$677.1 million+3.7%
97Crude oil$673 million+108%
98Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$672.3 million+14.9%
99Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$649.4 million-0.6%
100Cucumbers$641.9 million+5.5%
101Footwear (textile)$638.6 million+14.6%
102Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$636.1 million+8.2%
103Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$632.8 million+10.4%
104Frozen vegetables$632.2 million+11.7%
105Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$620.7 million+8.1%
106Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$620.5 million+3.4%
107Vulcanized rubber items$615.3 million+5.9%
108Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$613.9 million+1.2%
109Miscellaneous engines, motors$595.1 million+9.4%
110Amino-resins$594.6 million+27.5%
111Concrete/artificial stone items$593.7 million+23.8%
112Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$591.2 million+8%
113Printed books, brochures$585.4 million+9.8%
114Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$585.2 million+15.8%
115Hair preparations$584.4 million+9.9%
116Air or vacuum pumps$569.9 million+12.3%
117Chemical industry products/residuals$569.5 million+4.3%
118Fresh or chilled beef$566.5 million+3.7%
119Petroleum gases$563.7 million+64.4%
120Footwear (rubber or plastic)$557.3 million+10.1%
121Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$557.3 million+6%
122Electric motor parts$553.6 million-19.8%
123Salted/dried/smoked meat$546.7 million+8.4%
124Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$545.7 million+6.2%
125Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$545.3 million+10.2%
126Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$544.3 million-14.5%
127Miscellaneous preserved fruits$541.4 million+11.1%
128Cabbages, cauliflowers, kale$540.8 million+6.9%
129Paper containers, cellulose wadding$539.3 million+8.2%
130Copper waste, scrap$538.6 million+55.3%
131Air conditioners$528.7 million+10.5%
132Whole fish (fresh)$528.1 million+1%
133Refrigerators, freezers$527.7 million+1.6%
134Miscellaneous aluminum items$523.1 million+3.8%
135Cheese, curd$513.1 million+13.2%
136Onions, garlic, leeks$506.7 million-15.3%
137Stoppers, caps, lids, corks$505.6 million+16.2%
138Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$501.5 million-0.7%
139Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$491.3 million+31%
140Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$485.7 million+18.1%
141Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$483.5 million+7.8%
142Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$481.3 million+24.5%
143Printing machinery$481.1 million+4.8%
144Regulate/control instruments$478.7 million+4.9%
145Electric ignition/start equipment$475.6 million-0.4%
146Uncoated paper$466.5 million+7.4%
147Sausages$462.7 million+12.8%
148Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$456.9 million+4.4%
149Crustaceans (including lobsters)$455 million+12.7%
150Fertilizer mixes$450.7 million+14.5%
151Styrene polymers$448.5 million+23.3%
152Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$445.3 million+2.2%
153Hydraulic cements$441.9 million-7.4%
154Sports equipment$431.8 million+15.9%
155Derricks, cranes$430 million+7%
156Fish fillets, pieces$426.6 million+8.9%
157Men's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)$423.7 million+19.3%
158Iron or steel pipe fittings$417.3 million+13.7%
159Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$413.2 million+22.4%
160Base metal mountings, fittings$413 million+8.7%
161Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$409.8 million+9.2%
162Red meat offal$404.2 million-4.3%
163Cyclic hydrocarbons$400.1 million-7.9%
164Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$399.7 million+5.2%
165Tomatoes (prepared/preserved)$398.2 million+5.7%
166Coated paper$397.9 million-10.6%
167Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates$397.7 million+18.3%
168Jewelry$397.1 million+7.6%
169Electric motors, generators$397 million+13.3%
170Railway/streetcar locomotives, rolling stock$391.8 million-10.6%
171Monument/building stones, art$385.3 million-7.9%
172Sort/screen/washing machinery$381.7 million+5.7%
173Antibiotics$376.7 million-4.3%
174Polycarboxylic acids$372.3 million+379%
175Vegetable saps, extracts$369.1 million+10.5%
176Miscellaneous cast iron or steel items$366.5 million+8.0%
177Synthetic organic coloring$360.9 million+22.7%
178Other diagnostic/lab reagents$360.2 million+16.9%
179Prepared cereal foods$359.9 million+10.5%
180Other machine parts, accessories$359 million+11.8%
181Poultry meat$349.6 million+3.2%
182Coated/laminated non-wovens$346.1 million+10.8%
183Other measuring/testing machines$343.8 million+9.7%
184Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$343.6 million+5.5%
185Vinyl chloride polymers$343 million+6.1%
186Miscellaneous live plants$341.9 million+14%
187Iron and steel tanks, drums, boxes$340.8 million+1.8%
188Orthopedic appliances$337.2 million+14.4%
189Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$337.2 million+11.4%
190Stainless steel bars, rods$335.8 million+15.4%
191Bombs, grenades, ammunition$335.2 million+231.9%
192Other coloring matter, luminophores$333.2 million+25.9%
193Live bovine cattle$327.2 million+38.6%
194Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$327.1 million+3.7%
195Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$326.1 million+8.4%
196Locks, lock-keys$325.7 million+6.2%
197Grapes (fresh or dried)$323.4 million-0.5%
198Warships, lifeboats$322.2 million+22.5%
199Wood fiberboard, other ligneous materials$320.6 million+4.4%
200Uncoated paper for writing/printing$319.6 million+8.9%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$241.8 billion or about three-quarters (75.6%) by value for all products exported from Spain during 2017.

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

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 31, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Spain. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 31, 2018

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on March 29, 2016