Posted by Jeni Evans on March 30, 2015
Spanish exports

Spain is well-known for certain products that we all know and love and perhaps use on a daily basis. Olive oil, oranges and Serrano ham instantly spring to mind. But these are not the products made in Spain that are being exported the most across the globe. So, which Spanish products are then?

Well, the latest figures from ICEX (Institute of Foreign Trade) have revealed that cars, steel and medicines were the products that Spain sold and exported the most outside of the country in January. In this month alone, more than 44,000 national companies sold one of these products outside of Spain.

How many Spanish companies trade abroad?

In January this year, a total of 44,325 Spanish companies sold their products abroad. According to ICEX, 30,470 of these were regular companies, which means that they have been trading to the outside for a minimum of four years.

Is this a lot? Well, when compared to figures from previous years, yes, the difference is quite staggering.

In 2013, a total of 151,160 companies sold their products outside of Spain, while in 2014, the number was 147,731. However, looking back even further, it has been noted that during the whole of 2004, the monthly average of companies that traded in the exterior was only 8,033 – five times less than the average for 2015.

The biggest-selling products

According to ICEX, the products that lead the list for the biggest exports were vehicles (cars, motorbikes, caravans etc.), automotive accessories, iron and steel products, pharmaceutical products (medicines), fuels and lubricants, fruit and vegetables (tomatoes, peppers), citrus fruit, textiles for women, olive oil and plastic products (boxes, containers).

Important producers

Out of all of Spain’s exports, 21% of them belong to the automobile sector. Spain is the second largest manufacturer or vehicles in the whole of Europe, and the biggest producer of industrial vehicles.

ICEX has calculated that 9 out of every 10 vehicles manufactured in Spain is exported to one of 130 countries across the globe. In addition, there are more than 1,000 businesses that specialize in manufacturing vehicle components and equipment.

With regards to the iron and steel industry, Spain’s output reached 14.2 million tonnes last year, a figure that puts us amongst the top 20 producers in the world.

Spain is also the 8th largest producer of tomatoes in the world and 1 out of every 4 tomatoes in Europe has been cultivated in Spain. And, of course, Spain produces the greatest amount of oranges, along with Florida, in the world.

Textiles is also a winner for Spain. Mango and Zara are well-known brands in five continents.

And, we cannot forget about olive oil where Spain is a global leader. For this year, Spain is forecast to produce 57% of all the olive oil in the world, with a record of 1.7 million tonnes.

Who does Spain export to?

ICEX has also revealed that half of all Spanish exports are destined for one of five countries: France, Germany, UK, Italy or Portugal.

Other major receivers of Spanish exports in order of importance are USA, The Netherlands, Belgium, Morocco and Poland.


Exports already carried out in 2015 have brought in a revenue of 17,894 million euro, which is 3% lower than in 2014, although it does exceed the January average of 11,033 million euro gained in the last 8 years by 62%.

This year, Spain is expected to generate over 200,000 million euro from its exports, a figure it has continually exceeded since 2011. The record amount of money made from exporting Spanish products was registered last year, with 240,000 million euro.

Most important exporting cities in Spain

The cities that export most to the exterior are Barcelona (21% of total), Madrid (11%) and Valencia (7.1%).

The most active provinces include Zaragoza, Murcia, Pontevedra, Vizcaya, Navarra and Tarragona.



  • Spain
  • economy
  • exports
  • industry
  • ICEX
  • foreign trade
  • business


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