From 2021 to 2022, the overall value of Spanish exported products rose 6.8% from $391.6 billion.
Spain’s international shipments were valued at 1.9% of overall global exports estimated at $22.144 trillion for 2021.
Applying a continental lens, 73.6% of Spain’s exports by value was delivered to fellow European countries while 10% was sold to Asian importers. Spain shipped another 6.8% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to customers in Africa (5.5%), Latin America (3.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.5%) led by Australia.
Spain’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Spain’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Spanish shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Spanish exports.
- France: US$64.9 billion (15.5% of total Spanish exports)
- Germany: $40.6 billion (9.7%)
- Portugal: $35.5 billion (8.5%)
- Italy: $34.4 billion (8.2%)
- Belgium: $25.4 billion (6.1%)
- United Kingdom: $22.4 billion (5.4%)
- United States: $19.9 billion (4.7%)
- Netherlands: $16.6 billion (4%)
- Morocco: $12.4 billion (3%)
- Poland: $9.1 billion (2.2%)
- China: $8.4 billion (2%)
- Switzerland: $7.2 billion (1.7%)
- Türkiye: $7.1 billion (1.7%)
- Mexico: $5.5 billion (1.3%)
- Sweden: $3.8 billion (0.9%)
- Brazil: $3.7 billion (0.9%)
- Czech Republic: $3.7 billion (0.9%)
- Japan: $3.5 billion (0.8%)
- Greece: $3.3 billion (0.8%)
- Romania: $3.14 billion (0.8%)
- Saudi Arabia: $3.12 billion (0.7%)
- Ireland: $3.1 billion (0.7%)
- Austria: $3 billion (0.7%)
- Denmark: $2.7 billion (0.7%)
- Canada: $2.5 billion (0.6%)
More than four-fifths (82.4%) of Spanish exports in 2022 were delivered to the above leading trade partners.
The fastest-growing top importers for Spain’s exports were Belgium (up 49.1% from 2021), Saudi Arabia (up 38.4%), Romania (up 28.1%), Ireland (up 27.9%), Netherlands (up 22.4%) and Brazil (up 22.1%).
There were 2 decliners among the major customers for Spanish exports. These were mainland China (down -17.8% from 2021) and Japan (down -0.4%).
Trade Partners Driving Spain’s Biggest Deficits
Spain incurred an overall -$75 billion trade deficit for 2022. That negative trade balance represents a 117.4% expansion from the -$34.5 billion in red ink one year earlier in 2021.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit. It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Spain incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- mainland China: -US$35.7 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Germany: -$13.3 billion
- Netherlands: -$13.2 billion
- United States of America: -$12.2 billion
- Nigeria: -$9.2 billion
- Algeria: -$6.9 billion
- Russia: -$6.6 billion
- Brazil: -$5.7 billion
- India: -$3.7 billion
- Libya: -$3.5 billion
Among Spain’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Spanish deficits with the United States of America (up 343.6%), Brazil (up 135%) and the Netherlands (up 112%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Spain’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Spain to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Trade Partners Creating Spain’s Biggest Surpluses
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Spain incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- Portugal: US$16.5 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- France: $16.3 billion
- United Kingdom: $11 billion
- Belgium: $8.9 billion
- Morocco: $3.3 billion
- Gibraltar: $2.2 billion
- Greece: $1.5 billion
- Andorra: $1.25 billion
- Israel: $1.24 billion
- Italy: $1.1 billion
Among Spain’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Spanish surpluses with Gibraltar (up 81.7%), Belgium (up 47%) and Morocco (up 28%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Spain’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Spain to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Major Spanish Companies Servicing Spain’s Trading Partners
Twenty-seven corporations headquartered in Spain 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 IMPORTERS.com listings for Spanish suppliers, the following are examples of companies that ship products from Spain to its trade partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis are products that the Spanish business provides.
- Acosta Farmacia (pharmaceutical pain medications)
- Acremar Sl (marble, other natural stone)
- Aranda Alcorense (ceramic tiles)
- Ferpuig SL (lighting, decoration products)
- Garcia Ballester SL (clementines, other citrus fruits)
- Gascon Vermuyten SL (frozen food)
- Precocinados Corella/Lazaro Foods (canned vegetables)
- Under The Sun (olive oil)
- Vins I Licors Singulars (wines, whiskies)
- Zadarovstock (wholesale textiles)
See also Spain’s Top 10 Imports, Spain’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 13, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 13, 2023
IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Spain Import Export Directory. Accessed on April 13, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 13, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 13, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 13, 2023