Andalusia closed 2021 with the best export record since comparable data has been available (1995), 34,552 million euros, which represents a year-on-year growth of 24.2%, up to 3 points above the national average increase, which stood at 21.2%. Imports amounted to 33.194 billion euros, up 34.5%, resulting in a surplus of 1.358 billion euros in the Andalusian foreign trade balance, compared to a deficit of 26.178 billion euros for Spain as a whole, due to the fact that the region has a coverage rate 11.7 points higher than the national rate, 104.1% compared to 92.4%. These data have been provided by Extenda.
These statistics not only represent 6,700 million euros more in exports over the figure reached in 2020, a year in which foreign trade was affected by the economic paralysis derived from the pandemic, but also exceeds by more than 2,300 million (7.3% more) the best export record achieved to date by Andalusia, which was in 2018, with 32,209 million euros.
With the December 2021 data, Andalusia accumulates 10 consecutive months of double-digit growth in its exports, 9 of them above 20%, culminating the 21.1% year-on-year rise recorded in this last month of the year, in which sales abroad reached 3.18 billion euros.
Andalusia is the second fastest growing region in 2021 of the 10 most exporting regions, which places it third in export volume in the national ranking, with 10.9% of the country’s total sales.
The strong progress of the Andalusian foreign sector in 2021 benefits the whole community, with all eight provinces registering significant growth in exports, five of them in double digits. Likewise, the rise extends to the top 10 destination markets of Andalusia, both in Europe, America and Africa, and to eight of the top 10 exporting chapters, which provides diversification of products and destinations.
The areas that suffered most in 2020 due to the paralysis caused by the pandemic have resumed their momentum with greater strength, such as copper, smelting, chemicals and minerals, in addition to energy. At the same time, the agri-food sector, which continued to grow even in 2020, has not yet reached its peak, and sales are up in most of its main sectors, including olive oil, Andalusia’s leading product in terms of sales, which recorded a 10% rise to 12,385 million.
The high activity of the industry and the rise in prices of raw materials and supplies worldwide is reflected in the sales of other chemical products, which is once again the fastest growing of the top ten, with more than double sales (+121%) and is in seventh place in the ranking, with 1,541 million in 2021, 4.5% of the total. Likewise, sales of fuels and mineral oils continue to grow, the first exported chapter, which rises 81% to 5,242 million and accumulates 15.2% of the total bill; and minerals, in fifth place with an increase of 44% to 1,574 million, 4.6%.
Exports of copper and its manufactures also grew in 2021, ranking sixth, up 38% year-on-year to 1,566 million (4.5%); and iron and steel, which, in ninth place, rose 33% to 1,270 million (3.7%).
In the agri-food sector, the chapter of animal and vegetable fats and oils, third in importance in overall exports, stands out for its dynamism in international markets, which grew by 20.1% in 2021 to 3,089 million (8.9%). Of this, 2,643 million corresponds to olive oil, whose sales rose by 17.4% year-on-year, thanks to the good tone of market prices with a rise in exports to its three main world destinations.
Likewise, sales of fruit, the fourth most exported item, increased by 4.5% year-on-year to 2,910 million, 8.4% of the total; and vegetables, with a 4.5% increase, which is the second most exported item, with 3,521 million, 10.2% of the total.
On the other hand, sales of electrical appliances and equipment, the tenth exported chapter, fell by 15.2% to 1,211 million (3.5%); and aircraft and spacecraft, an industry that continues to be severely affected by the sharp decline in international travel still being imposed by the pandemic. Even so, it recorded exports worth 1.538 billion (4.5% of the total), 12.6% less than the previous year.
Exports are growing strongly not only in its natural market, Europe, where they are up 22% to 23.399 billion, but also in the European Union, where they are up 22% to 23.399 billion.