Ship loaded with containers in Algeciras Port, the main departure point for goods exported from Andalucía. SUR
Planes, ships and agriculture helped drive record Andalusian export figures last year

Planes, ships and agriculture helped drive record Andalusian export figures last year

The volume of regional exports in 2022 was 42.95 billion euros, an increase of 24.3% compared to the previous year

Héctor Barbotta


Friday, 24 March 2023


Last year was a golden year for exports from Andalucía. Goods, produce and services sent to other countries from the region accounted for over a fifth of the total economic output - 22.6 per cent of GDP to be precise.

This meant that out of every five euros generated by business in Andalucía, more than one euro came from sales of products that were then exported outside Spain.

The turnover of companies exporting from Andalucía in 2022 was 42.95 billion euros. This was an increase of 24.3 per cent compared to the previous year. Growth was seen in almost all types of activity.

Increase in industrial sector

The traditional dominance of Andalusian farming in the export market was combined with a notable increase in the industrial sector last year. In fact, agricultural exports topped the list in just three of the eight provinces in the region: Almeria, Granada and Malaga.

In Cadiz and Huelva, the two provinces that export the most, sales abroad were led by fuels and mineral oils. Meanwhile in Cordoba sales were led by manufactured copper items; in Jaén, by machinery, equipment and electrical materials; and in Seville, by aircraft.


Due to this great diversity of products, the data from Extenda, (the regional agency that provides support for exporting companies based in Andalucía), shows major growth in nine of the ten sectors of the regional economy that sell the most abroad.

In two of these, the growth rate was extraordinary: one was aeronautics, where sales increased by 39 per cent - due to the recovery of world tourism and the consequent demand for planes - and the other was olive oil, where sales rose by 24.3 per cent.

Airbus factory

The aeronautical sector, which is mainly based in Seville province as that is where the Airbus factory is situated, benefited greatly from the reactivation of the world economy after the pandemic.

Nearly five per cent of all sales abroad from Andalucía originated in the aircraft industry, and the region has contributed more than the Spanish average in this sector. Andalucía accounted for 42 per cent of all sales of aircraft to other countries from Spain in 2022.

However, there were also important increases in other industrial sectors in the region such as fuels, which was the highest-selling product with a growth of around 44 per cent, the chemical industry (in sixth place with a growth of 35 per cent), minerals, iron and steel, machinery and electrical materials.

Ships up and olive oil top

Outside the ten top-selling products, the growth in the ship-building industry was also notable, especially in Cadiz province, as last year there were 26 times more sales than in 2021, with 832 million euros coming in from contracts signed with Saudi Arabia.

Despite the positive results in general, olive oil was still the most-sold Andalusian export product in 2022, reaching a record 3.28 billion euros last year, an increase of 24 per cent. Vegetables are the second most-exported product.

Where do the exports go to?

In addition to the broader range of products sold thanks to the growth in practically every sector, there was also a diversification of markets in 2022. There was growth on all five continents and especially in the two economic areas which are currently the most dynamic: America and Asia.

China remains one of the ten principal countries buying Andalusian goods, together with Morocco, and the USA is becoming the fastest-growing market, with an increase of 62 per cent compared to the previous year. However, more than 80 per cent of Andalusian exports still go to countries within the European Union.

The contribution of exports to the Andalusian economy was 2.3 percentage points higher last year than in 2021 and 4.26 percentage points higher than in 2019, the last year before the pandemic began.

One of the most positive figures is that all the eight provinces in Andalucía broke their own records in terms of exports, helping meet the long-term goal of the benefits of sales abroad spreading to the entire region. In five of these eight provinces, the growth was more than ten per cent higher than 2021.

Malaga province

In Malaga province specifically, the top exports are food products, especially: fruits; olive oil (which accounts for 15.2 per cent of the total and which rose by 40 per cent last year); meat and edible offal.

In fourth place are machinery and electrical materials, followed by optical instruments and equipment, knitted clothing, other types of clothing, vehicles and tractors, machinery and fuels.

As well as EU countries, also on the list of the top ten exporting markets for Malaga are the USA, which is in third place, China (ninth) and Japan (tenth).




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