That dollar amount results from a 20.9% gain from $346.1 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Spanish exports grew 6.8% compared to $391.6 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, Spain uses the euro which depreciated by -12.1% against the US dollar since 2018 and weakened by -12.3% from 2021 to 2022. The weaker European Union currency in 2022 made Spain’s exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively lesser expensive for international buyers.
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.
Spain’s 5 most valuable exported products are cars, processed petroleum oils, blood fractions including antisera, medication mixes in dosage, then automobile parts or accessories. Collectively, that leading quintet of Spanish exports accounted for over a fifth (22.4%) of the overall value of exports from Spain in 2022.
Spain’s Best International Trade Customers
The latest available country-specific data shows that 70.9% of products exported from Spain were bought by importers in: France (15.5% of Spain’s total), Germany (9.7%), Portugal (8.5%), Italy (8.2%), Belgium (6.1%), United Kingdom (5.4%), United States of America (4.7%), Netherlands (4%), Morocco (3%), Poland (2.2%), mainland China (2%) and Switzerland (1.7%).
From a continental perspective, 73.6% of Spain exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 10% were sold to Asian importers. Spain shipped another 6.8% worth of goods to North American.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (5.5%), Latin America (3.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.5%) led by Australia.
Given Spain’s population of 47.6 million people, its total $418.4 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $8,800 for every resident in the west European nation. That per-capita dollar amount exceeds the average $8,200 for 2021.
Spain’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Spanish global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Spain.
- Vehicles: US$52.9 billion (12.6% of total exports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $39.7 billion (9.5%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $28.2 billion (6.7%)
- Machinery including computers: $27.2 billion (6.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $21.3 billion (5.1%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $16.7 billion (4%)
- Iron, steel: $11.4 billion (2.7%)
- Fruits, nuts: $10.8 billion (2.6%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $10.4 billion (2.5%)
- Meat: $10.3 billion (2.5%)
Spain’s top 10 exports accounted for over half (54.7%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 71.6% since 2021.
In second place for improving export sales were pharmaceuticals which grew 39.4%.
Spain’s shipments of articles made from iron or steel posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 15.6% year over year.
The leading decliner among Spain’s top 10 export categories was the fruits and nuts product category which fell -9.8%
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.
Spain’s Major Trade Surpluses by Product Category
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 represent 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.
- Vehicles: US$10 billion (Down by -34.6% since 2021)
- Meat: $8.3 billion (Down by -6.9%)
- Vegetables: $7 billion (Down by -4.1%)
- Fruits, nuts: $6.7 billion (Down by -16.8%)
- Ceramic products: $4.8 billion (Up by 10%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $4.2 billion (Reversing a -$4.5 billion deficit)
- Articles of iron or steel: $3.7 billion (Up by 7.9%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $3.4 billion (Down by -8.2%)
- Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $2.5 billion (Up by 1.2%)
- Perfumes, cosmetics: $1.9 billion (Down by -4.3%)
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.
Spain’s Major Trade Deficits by Product Category
Spain incurred an overall -$75 billion trade deficit during 2022. That negative trade balance represents a 117.4% expansion from the -$34.5 billion in red ink one year earlier for 2021.
Below are exports from Spain that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits during 2022. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Spain’s goods trail Spanish importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$55.7 billion (Up by 74.3% since 2021)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$19.2 billion (Up by 27.3%)
- Machinery including computers: -$13 billion (Up by 13.2%)
- Organic chemicals: -$7.9 billion (Down by -7.7%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$6.6 billion (Up by 6.7%)
- Cereals: -$5.9 billion (Up by 73%)
- Fish: -$3.76 billion (Up by 9.1%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$3.75 billion (Up by 72.3%)
- Iron, steel: -$3.4 billion (Up by 31.2%)
- Ores, slag, ash: -$3 billion (Down by -15.2%)
Spain has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for crude oil, petroleum gases and coal under the mineral fuels including oil category.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Spain’s competitive disadvantages in the international market for mineral fuels-related products, but also represent key opportunities for Spain to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations in cleaner alternative energy sources.
Spain’s Top Companies Involved in International Trade
Twenty-seven corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Spanish companies that Forbes included.
- Abertis (other transportation)
- Ferrovial (other transportation)
- Grifols (biotech products)
- Repsol YPF (oil, gas)
- Telefónica (telecommunications services)
According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of Spanish export companies.
- Mahou Sa (malt beer, wine, vodka)
- Nemak Spain (internal combustion engines, vehicle parts and accessories)
- Repsol (oil)
- Telefónica (telecommunications equipment)
Searchable List of Spain’s Most Valuable Export Products
At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Spain during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021. An entry of 0% means 2021 data was unavailable.
|Rank||Spain's Export Product||Value (US$)||Change|
|2||Processed petroleum oils||$23,909,104,000||+52.5%|
|3||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$15,558,288,000||+92.4%|
|4||Medication mixes in dosage||$11,010,316,000||+1.8%|
|9||Unglazed ceramic paying, tiles, cubes||$4,731,459,000||+9.1%|
|11||Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)||$4,158,526,000||+2.3%|
|12||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$3,852,642,000||-9%|
|16||Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables||$2,819,858,000||-3.5%|
|17||Rubber tires (new)||$2,777,544,000||+6.5%|
|18||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$2,725,995,000||+11.5%|
|21||Perfumes, toilet waters||$2,563,204,000||+13.4%|
|23||Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections||$2,296,150,000||+9.7%|
|27||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$2,145,312,000||-12.4%|
|28||Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)||$1,965,878,000||-1.6%|
|29||Aircraft or spacecraft parts||$1,959,056,000||0%|
|33||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$1,716,612,000||+4.5%|
|35||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$1,657,073,000||+6.9%|
|36||Electrical converters/power units||$1,613,693,000||+19.2%|
|37||Heterocyclics, nucleic acids||$1,606,688,000||+110.3%|
|38||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$1,591,830,000||-3.4%|
|39||Phone system devices||$1,590,128,000||+1.7%|
|41||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$1,535,332,000||+8.1%|
|42||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$1,524,464,000||+6.5%|
|43||Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations||$1,489,744,000||+8.8%|
|45||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$1,438,489,000||-0.4%|
|46||Cases, handbags, wallets||$1,420,283,000||+14.1%|
|47||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$1,364,398,000||+8.1%|
|48||Other organic cleaning preparations||$1,354,794,000||+1.2%|
|49||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$1,351,697,000||+12.9%|
|52||Petroleum oil residues||$1,323,832,000||+29.5%|
|53||Other prepared/preserved vegetables (non-frozen)||$1,302,148,000||+3.2%|
|54||Copper ores, concentrates||$1,274,165,000||+14.6%|
|55||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$1,270,849,000||+15.9%|
|56||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$1,256,728,000||+12.8%|
|57||Electric storage batteries||$1,256,292,000||-6.4%|
|59||Apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums||$1,244,444,000||-23.6%|
|60||Flat-rolled stainless steel items||$1,225,471,000||-6.9%|
|61||Pigments, enamels, glazes||$1,194,910,000||+1.1%|
|62||Women's clothing (knit or crochet)||$1,189,479,000||+2%|
|64||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$1,178,221,000||-1.9%|
|65||Miscellaneous plastic items||$1,159,376,000||+0.4%|
|67||Other food preparations||$1,126,973,000||+13.9%|
|68||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$1,123,705,000||+13.3%|
|69||Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)||$1,076,574,000||+5.8%|
|71||Cellulose fiber paper||$1,057,582,000||+14.6%|
|73||Fruit and vegetable juices||$1,029,579,000||+5.9%|
|74||Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)||$1,021,370,000||-1.8%|
|76||Fresh or chilled beef||$1,012,365,000||+27.2%|
|77||Concrete/artificial stone items||$995,709,000||+5.6%|
|78||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$995,425,000||+10.9%|
|81||Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings||$968,363,000||+5%|
|82||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$961,011,000||+58.6%|
|84||Red meat offal||$947,407,000||-6.5%|
|85||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$945,927,000||+18.2%|
|87||Vegetable saps, extracts||$935,300,000||+30.6%|
|88||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$932,063,000||-31.3%|
|90||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$924,732,000||+4.9%|
|92||Women's coats, jackets (not knit or crochet)||$917,015,000||-4.7%|
|93||Whole fish (frozen)||$888,898,000||+1.9%|
|94||Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)||$883,404,000||+2.4%|
|95||Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines||$880,980,000||-4.5%|
|96||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$871,681,000||+7.5%|
|98||Computers, optical readers||$864,794,000||-10.3%|
|99||Melons, watermelons, papayas||$862,898,000||-8.4%|
|100||Table games, bowling equipment||$833,966,000||-15%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$254.5 billion or over three-fifths (60.8%) by value for all products exported from Spain during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, Spain’s total exported goods represent 18.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($2.216 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 18.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 19.4% one year earlier. Those percentages suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Spain’s total economic performance, albeit based on a very short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Spain’s unemployment rate averaged 12.686% for 2022, down from an average 14.785% for 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Spain’s capital city is Madrid.
See also Spain’s Top 10 Imports, Spain’s Top Trading Partners and Top Persimmons Exports & Imports by Country Plus Average Prices
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 26, 2023
IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Spain Import Export Directory. Accessed on March 26, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 26, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Spain. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 26, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on March 26, 2023