What are Spain’s Main Exports and Imports?

What are Spain’s Main Exports and Imports?

Spain does a lot of business with Germany, France and Italy as its primary trade partners in Europe and the United States across the pond. France is the biggest beneficiary of Spain’s exports, taking 15.3% of the country’s total exported goods.

The European country happens to be the 16th largest export economy in the world. Here are some of its main exports and imports.


Crude oil

Spain’s imports of crude oil have been growing since the 1980s. By December of 2018, the country reported having imported 1,364 barrels per day which was a record high. The recorded low for Spain’s import of crude oil was in 1984 where it registered 825 barrels per day.

Within Europe, Spain is the 6th largest energy consumer but they have no domestic production of natural gas or liquid fuel. Because the country has such negligible oil resources, they have to import all their oil from countries like Nigeria, Mexico, Russia, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The country relies on 46% of liquid fuel to sustain their energy consumption needs.

They spent up to 23 billion dollars on crude petroleum.


Spain is the fourteenth biggest steel importer in the world. In 2018, the country imported almost eleven million metric tons of steel. With many industries in Spain that rely heavily on steel like the car manufacturing industry and weapon building industries among other sectors, Spain needs to import a lot of steel to meet demand.

Spain has been shipping in steel for centuries since they became a strong contender in creating weapons for various armies.

Clothing and textiles

The partners of choice when it comes to Spain’s textile imports are China, Morocco, Portugal, Bangladesh and Turkey. As the sixth largest importers of textiles in the world, the country’s imports have seen a significant growth over the last couple of years.

Designers are looking for diversification in their fabric as they create their designs and grow their industry. This leads to looking for more fabric to meet the demand especially if the fabric is popular. These markets are excellent because of the versatility of their trade zones.


Cars and Auto parts/accesories

Cars are a huge part of the Spanish export portfolio. The country’s export of cars has made it the eighth largest automobile producer globally. It’s actually second only to Germany. By 2016, Spain had sold 2.8 million cars worldwide and in 2019 the revenue from Spanish passenger cars to the U.S. is over 36 million.

Spain produces several car models from their plants including Nissan, SEAT, Ford, Renault, Volkswagen, Opel, Mercedes-Benz, and PSA, Peugeot-Citroen. All these cars are made in Spain’s different cities including Barcelona, Vigo, Figueruelas, and Martorell. Nine out of ten cars manufactured on Spanish ground are exported to over 130 countries.

Their automotive parts and accessories are the 6th highest used in the world. In fact, the automotive industry in Spain accounts for 10% of the country’s GDP.

Refined petroleum

Spain imports crude oil and from their refineries that develop refined petroleum products which they then export. In the 1980s Spain started exporting over 10 million tonnes of refined petroleum products annually. The oil refinery capacities in Spain can accommodate 1,000 barrels daily. Some of the products include refined petrol products like fuel oils, gas oils, lubricants, kerosene and asphalt among others.


Spain is reputable for their drugs and medication. Top pharma companies in Spain have always been some of the biggest exporters from Spain and with the Spanish economy experiencing some growth, their exportation ability has begun to experience a rebirth. A company like GSK has 3.8% of the market share of the pharmaceutical industry. Cinfa, Bayer, Johnson and Johnson and Sanofi-Aventis are also other huge market players in Spain.

Spain experienced great returns in 2018 being amongst the European countries that shipped the bulk of drugs and medicine globally selling 9 billion dollars worth of pharmaceuticals. In the first half of the 2019, pharmaceutical companies continued registering increased revenue.

Olive oil

Olive oil is one of Spain’s biggest earners when it comes to export commodities. It’s the country’s leading agricultural export. Demand for Spanish olive oil is still robust and with the olive oil exportation industry earning the country over 2 billion Euros by May of 2018.

Spain remains the world’s leading exporter of olive oil with most of their production coming from the Andalucia region of the country. There are over 500 companies in the region exporting olive oil who account for half of the overall amount of land under olive oil production in the European Union.

Even though there is stiff competition from olive oil producers in Morocco and Tunisia, Spain remains the king of olive oil production in the world.

These are just some of the major imports and exports that Spain has vested interests in. As Spain continues to remain one of Europe’s largest economies, their export and import behavior will probably remain predictable as their economy has an increasingly stronger foundation, supported by all of the same investment pillars.

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