Exports from Andalucía to the UK are at their highest despite Brexit fears

The aeronautical sector is mainly responsible for the growth in the export market
The aeronautical sector is mainly responsible for the growth in the export market / EFE
  • Britain is now the third biggest market for Andalusian products, having grown by about 64 per cent in a year

The group studying the consequences of Brexit on the Andalusian economy, which is headed by the vice-president of the Junta, Manuel Jiménez Barrios, will be paying close attention to the export figures that have recently been published by Extenda, the region’s trade promotion agency.

Exports from Andalucía are defying the panic about possible consequences of Britain leaving the EU, but the report also shows that the links between the two countries are becoming closer and the effects of Brexit are therefore going to be greater than first anticipated. Brexit is a matter of concern.

According to Extenda, the UK is the market which grew most among the Top Ten destinations for exports from Andalucía, and it moved into third position behind France and Germany. The rate of increase between January and May 2017 was 64%, compared with the same period last year.

The report by Extenda, which is part of the regional Ministry of Economy, shows that Andalucía exported 1.3 billion euros’ worth of goods to the UK and the rate of growth was 22 times higher than the average for Spain, which increased by 2.9% to 8.5 billion.

Andalucía is the region of Spain which is growing the most and is second in terms of exports to Britain, with 15.3% of all sales. Only Catalonia is ahead (20.1%), but the growth there was 12 times lower than that of Andalucía during the same period (+5.3%, to a total of 1.7 billion).

The UK’s third position in the Top 10 export markets for Andalucía represents 9.5% of the total, and it is catching up with France and Germany, both of which represent 11.9%.

From the advantageous situation which these figures show for Andalucía, and therefore the risk that Brexit poses, it is also notable that the region has achieved a commercial surplus of 1.02 billion, with a coverage rate of 452%. In other words, exports are more than four times higher than imports, and those went down by about 6.1% to 290 million. The market coverage rate is therefore more than double that of Spain as a whole, which is 171% with a surplus of 3.5 billion.

The British market buys, above all, from the aeronautical sector and it is mainly responsible for this growth because sales have multiplied by 303 to 363 million euros and represent 27.7% of the total.

The agricultural sector remains strong and in second place: sales of fresh fruit rose to 278 million, which is 21.2% of the total, and vegetables, at 198 million, increased by 15.1%.

The sales of electrical equipment and materials also increased (+155 per cent) to 90 million, amounting to 6.9% of the total. It was followed by olive oil, at 54 million and 4.1%

of the total, an increase of 40%.

To sum up, there was growth in nine of the ten main sectors, five of them above 40%.

Malaga, up 24%

Despite these spectacular percentages, the number of exporting companies has hardly increased. This highlights the importance of the aeronautical sector and its high value products. In 2016 the number of companies in Andalucía exporting to the UK increased to 1,119, which was 1.7% (19) more than in 2015. Of these, 533 (48%) export regularly and 6.4% (34) exported more than in 2015, and they account for 83% of total sales.

Extenda shows that seven of Andalucía’s eight provinces have grown in terms of exports, four by over 20 per cent. Seville heads the list with 507 million, four out of every ten euros exported by Andalucía (39%) and its sales multiplied by four (+326%). Next is Huelva, with 260 million, 20% of the total and an increase of 9.1%, and Almeria with 224 million, 17% of the total and 7.2% more sales.