The trade deficit reached 7,573 million euros until June, which represents a decrease of 48.5% over the same period last year, according to data published yesterday by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
This fall is a result of both the decline in exports, which fell 15.8% in the first half of the year by the impact of COVID-19 in the economy, to 124,101 million, and imports, with 131,675 million, reduced by 18.8% in the same period, reports Europa Press.
According to the Secretary of State for Trade, Xiana Mendez, the decline in trade flows in the first half of the year is due to the incidence of the pandemic worldwide.
As this situation affects exports less than imports, the trade deficit is reduced, “showing that Spanish companies are in good conditions to take advantage of the recovery of international trade as it occurs,” said Mendez.
The coverage rate (ratio between exports and imports) stood at 94.2% at the end of June, above the 90.9% of the first half of 2019.
The fall in Spanish exports is above the Eurozone average (13.1%), but below that of countries like France (21.5%).
The decline in exports is mainly related to the negative performance of the automotive, capital goods, energy products and consumer manufactures sectors, while food, beverages and tobacco increased their sales abroad.
Exports to the European Union, which account for 60.4% of the total, fell by 14.6% in the first half of the year while those to third countries dropped by 17.5%, a particularly significant drop in sales to Oceania (down 30.8%), Latin America (26.9%) and Africa (23.7%).
By Autonomous Community, exports fell in all regions except Extremadura, where they grew by 9,3 %, with significant falls in the Canary Islands (30,2 %), Asturias (25,5 %) and the Basque Country (22,9 %).