Based on the average exchange rate for 2020, Spain uses the euro which appreciated by 2% against the US dollar since 2016 and rose by 3.1% from 2019 to 2020. The stronger EU currency in 2020 made Spain’s imports paid for in weaker US dollars relatively less expensive than when converted starting from euros.
Spanish imports represent 1.7% of total global imports which totaled $19.085 trillion one year prior in 2019.
From a continental perspective, 64.1% of Spain’s total imports by value in 2020 were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 19.9% of import sales to Spain while 6.6% worth originated from providers in Africa. Smaller percentages were furnished by sellers in North America (5.6%), Latin America (3.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Spain ‘s population of 46.5 million people, its total $325 billion in 2020 imports translates to roughly $7,000 in yearly product demand from every person in the European country.
Spain’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Spain’s import purchases during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Spain.
- Vehicles: US$36.7 billion (11.3% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $32.8 billion (10.1%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $31.1 billion (9.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $30 billion (9.2%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $17.5 billion (5.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $12.4 billion (3.8%)
- Organic chemicals: $11.6 billion (3.6%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $9 billion (2.8%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $8.8 billion (2.7%)
- Iron, steel: $8.3 billion (2.6%)
Spain’s top 10 imports accounted for 61% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Pharmaceuticals had the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 11.5% from 2019 to 2020. In second place for improving import sales was the electrical machinery and equipment category, up 2.9%. Spanish imports of optical, technical and medical apparatus racked up the third-fastest gain via its 2.7% improvement.
Leading the decliners was the mineral fuels including oil category down -37.3% year over year.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
At the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Spain’s number one import product is crude oil (8.1% of total). In second place was imported cars (5.6%) followed by auto parts and accessories (4.5%), medication mixes in dosage (2.7%), petroleum gases (2.3%), refined petroleum oils (2.2%), mobile phones (1.7%), blood fractions including antisera (1.1%), unknit or non-crocheted women’s clothing (also 1.1%) then computers (1%).
In 2020, Spanish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.
- Automobile parts/accessories: US$14.6 billion (down -13.2% from 2019)
- Cars: $13.9 billion (down -33.7%)
- Trucks: $1.8 billion (down -30.3%)
- Tractors: $1.1 billion (down -19.5%)
- Motorcycles: $972.9 million (up 4.9%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $540.8 million (up 11.7%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $494.1 million (up 38.4%)
- Trailers: $394.5 million (down -14.2%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $243.5 million (down -8.2%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $157.4 million (down -30.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Spanish purchases of public-transport vehicles (up 38.4%), motorcycle parts or accessories (up 11.7%) then motorcycles (up 4.9%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Spanish businesses and consumers.
In 2020, Spanish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$4.4 billion (up 15.3% from 2019)
- Piston engines: $1.9 billion (down -10.4%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $1.9 billion (up 6.8%)
- Engines (diesel): $1.6 billion (down -23.9%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1.4 billion (down -11.8%)
- Air conditioners: $1.3 billion (down -6.2%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $1.2 billion (down -3.3%)
- Turbo-jets: $1.2 billion (down -32.1%)
- Piston engine parts: $1 billion (down -26.8%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $996.4 million (up 4.6%)
Among these import subcategories, Spanish purchases of computers including optical readers (up 15.3%), centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 6.8%) then computer parts or accessories (up 4.6%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Spanish businesses and consumers.
In 2020, Spanish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$18.2 billion (down -39.4% from 2019)
- Petroleum gases: $5.7 billion (down -32.6%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $4.6 billion (down -43.2%)
- Electrical energy: $727.1 million (down -32.8%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $416.9 million (down -3.5%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $337.5 million (down -58%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $311 million (down -35.2%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $250.7 million (up 88.8%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $58.2 million (down -11.5%)
- Peat: $49.5 million (up 13.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Spanish purchases of coke or semi-coke (up 88.8%) and peat (up 13.3%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imports related to mineral fuels among Spanish businesses and consumers.
In 2020, Spanish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$6.4 billion (up 3.1% from 2019)
- Insulated wire/cable: $2.9 billion (down -9.5%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $1.7 billion (down -1.3%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $1.7 billion (down -5.6%)
- Electric storage batteries: $1.6 billion (up 89.1%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $1.5 billion (up 8.4%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $1.3 billion (down -21.2%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $1.3 billion (up 10.4%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $963 million (down -7.3%)
- Electrical lighting/signaling equipment, defrosters: $907.9 million (up 1.6%)
Among these import subcategories, Spanish purchases of electric storage batteries (up 89.1%), electric water heaters and hair dryers (up 10.4%) then electrical converters or power units (up 8.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Spanish businesses and consumers.
See also Spain’s Top 10 Exports, Spain’s Top Trading Partners and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 28, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 28, 2021
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 28, 2021