Portugal lost ground in exports to its three main markets

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The increase in sales of goods to Spain, Germany and France in 2022 was less than purchases from these countries, which account for 49% of Portugal’s exports.
of Portugal’s exports. Imports have also suffered.

Portuguese exports of goods to Spain, Germany and France “showed less dynamism” last year, INE said on Friday, “indicating market share losses” for these markets, which are the three biggest customers (together, they weigh 49.3 percent of the total).

In the case of Spain, Portugal’s main trading partner (26% of exports), INE – which analyzes the value of sales – reports that “growth in national exports was lower than the increase in total imports from this country (+19.7% and +32%, respectively)”, which is more expressive for “vehicles and other transport equipment”, with a variation of 3.2%.

With regard to France and Germany, INE reported that variations in exports “were also lower than variations in total imports from these partners”. In the case of France, sales of goods to this country rose by 16%, while French purchases increased by 28.6%. In the case of Germany, the difference was smaller, with sales up 21.4% and German purchases up 24.2%.

According to INE, this result “contrasts with 2019 [before the pandemic], a year in which national exports to these three countries recorded significant dynamism, having increased, on average, three times more than total imports from these partners”.

These three countries in turn accounted for 49.3% of Portugal’s goods purchases in 2022, with Spain accounting for 32.1%. With regard to this country, and looking at its overall trade balance, INE indicates that “imports from Spain increased by 28.4%”, while total exports from this country rose by 23.7%”, largely thanks to agricultural products.

As for Germany, imports of goods from this country rose by 18%, higher than the 13.8% increase in total German exports, and purchases of goods from France rose by 19.4%, higher than the increase in total exports from this country (+18.6%), in contrast to the two previous years.

Nevertheless, according to INE, the largest trade surplus is still with France. The largest deficit was recorded with Spain, with Germany in third place after China (which moved up one place).

The year 2022 was marked by record highs, due to factors such as soaring energy and food prices. Exports and imports reached record levels of €78,207 million and €109,243 million respectively, with the deficit rising by €11,509 million to €31,036 million.

According to INE, the deficit was -13% of GDP in 2022, “the sixth most negative proportion” among EU countries. Malta recorded the worst performance and Germany the highest surplus.

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