Andalusia’s exports reached 2,223 million euros last January, with a positive balance in the foreign trade balance of 325 million euros, the result of the difference with the 1,898 million it imported. A trade surplus that multiplies by 12 that registered in January 2020, of 27.3 million, and that contrasts with the trade deficit that Spain presented as a whole in the first month of 2021, of 1,769 million, with a coverage rate 93%, lower by up to 24 points than the Andalusian, 117%.
The export bill presented by Andalusia in January represents a decrease of 17.2% compared to the same month of 2020, induced by two phenomena that are intensely affecting international trade: the effects on the economy of Covid-19 and the departure of the Kingdom Union of the European Union, already effective in January, which causes a fall in Andalusian sales to the country of 28%, to 142 million, after months of strong growth at the end of 2020, before they came into force the new export measures to this market.
On the other hand, imports experienced a decrease of 28.6% to 1,898 million, which allows Andalusia to show a surplus of 325 million in January, with a coverage rate of 101%. By contrast, the whole of Spain suffers a deficit of 1,769 million euros, due to exports that fell by 11.4% in this first month, to 20,498 million, and imports that fell by 16.5%, to 22,267 million, which generates a coverage rate of 93%, eight points lower than the Andalusian rate.
The main reason for the decline in exports is the slowdown in the world economy caused by COVID-19, which has produced a drastic drop in prices and demand for fuel and industrial raw materials and also has a decisive impact on the aeronautical field, strategic sector for Andalusia.
This is reflected in the behavior of highly important chapters in the Andalusian international bill, such as fuels and mineral oils, which account for 11.3% of the total, despite the fact that their sales fell by 29.7%. Such is the case, that the decrease in Andalusian exports in January 2021, of 17.2%, is reduced by 3.3 points, to 13.9%, if only non-energy exports are taken into account (1,964 million euros), that is, excluding the chapter on fuels and mineral oils.
For the purposes of COVID, the entry into force in January 2021 of the new conditions to export to the United Kingdom, after its effective departure from the EU, is added. It is the fifth world market in Andalusia, to which exports increased considerably in the last months of 2020 (+ 9.9% year-on-year in November and + 4.4% in December), due to the ‘stockpile’ effect. In January 2021, once the new scenario has materialized, this ‘stockpile’ has ended, leading to a year-on-year decrease of 28%, with 142 million euros in sales.
Recovery of olive oil and industrial chapters
In January, the recovery in exports of animal and vegetable fats and oils stands out, the third chapter in sales, with 7.8% more to 190 million. Of these, 153 million correspond to olive oil, whose sales recover their tone in the international market by rising 9.5%, due to the strong pull of the US market, in which they grew by 84%.
The sales of two industrial chapters that are among the most exported in Andalusia, minerals, slags and ashes, the eighth export chapter, also increased notably, which doubled their sales (+ 130%) to 87 million; and that of chemical products, located in seventh place, which rose 39% to 92 million.
However, the first chapter in sales in January 2021 was that of legumes and vegetables, with a bill of 475 million, 21.4% of the total, despite the fact that it suffered a drop of 6%; which is followed by that of fuels and mineral oils, with 252 million, 11.3% and a decrease of 29.7%.
In fourth place, fruits were positioned, with 175 million, 7.9% of the total and a drop of 6.2%; followed by electrical appliances and material, with 106 million (4.8%) and a decrease of 21.8%; and copper and its manufactures, which fell 12.6% to 93 million. In ninth place, was the chapter of foundry, iron and steel, with 73 million (3.3%) and a drop of 4.2%; and as the tenth most exported chapter, plastics and their manufactures are positioned, with 47 million (2.1%) and a drop of 9.6%.
Diversification: sales to the US and China grow
The Andalusian foreign sector registered a better performance in non-European markets in the first month of the year, showing significant growth in destinations in America, Asia and Africa with which the diversification of the community’s exports increased.
Thus, among the top ten markets, the United States stands out, in sixth place and first non-European, in which sales increased by 32%, to 134 million, 6% of the total, driven by oil exports olive, which this month rose 84% to 36 million; and of fuels and mineral oils, which, after not registering sales in January 2020, had a turnover of 25.3 million in 2021.
Another strategic market for the Andalusian export sector, China, also shows a positive behavior, in eleventh place with a rise of 1.8%, to 41 million. Likewise, exports are making notable progress in three other Asian destinations: Taiwan, the twelfth world market, in which sales multiply by 12, to 39 million; Japan, in fourteenth position, where they rose 79%, to 31 million; and South Korea, 16th, with 1.4% more exports to 23 million.