Export data for March were eagerly awaited to find out if the war in Ukraine had any impact on foreign trade. The truth is, the worst omens have finally come true, as the slowdown in sales is obvious. In the province of Alicante, without going further, the increase this month was only 4.3%With 612 million euros, growth was over 20% in the previous months. The uncertainty created by the armed conflict and its effects on the increase in prices, There have been major victims in the metal sector and some agri-food products.. However, the first quarter ends with a 15.8 percent increase in exports, which is not a significant percentage, but this breakout could have been more pronounced had it not been recorded in March.
The recovery effect in demand after the worst moments of the epidemic was decisive in the Alicante state closing last year with foreign sales of 6.216 million euros, 16% more than the arrival of the virusThis was the highest figure ever recorded. But the situation is changing at the beginning of this 2022. As a result of inflation and energy costs, after a hesitant January, the pace picked up in February and growth was close to 24%. But the harmful effects of the war have yet to be confirmed, and the figures for March are already starting to speak for themselves.
According to data released by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, exports this month amounted to 612.8 million euros, representing a particularly weak increase compared to the past. The most affected sectors are metals and agri-food, even recorded. decline in some parts. Thus, the sales of electrical equipment and materials abroad were 11.7 million euros compared to 20.7 million euros in the same month of the previous year, while vehicles, automobiles and tractors remained at 11.7 million euros when they reached 21.5 a year ago. The machines also felt the impact of the war and exported 14.9 million compared to 15.9. In this sector, aluminum and its producers performed best, reaching 36m euros, almost 10 more than last year.
Luis Rodriguez, president of the Alicante State (Fempa) Federation of Metal Entrepreneurs, points out that this slowdown in sales “is seen. The war is shaping foreign trade, not only because of the enormous uncertainty it creates, but also because it exacerbates increases in energy costs and raw materials.” lose competitiveness in the marketsFor Rodriguez, the panorama ahead is very complex, to the point that “we think the situation won’t start to normalize until the last four months of the year”.
In the case of agricultural food products, fruits and nuts recorded a notable declineThe 45.5m euros reached this last month of March is a far cry from the 50.1 in 2021. Canned vegetables and fruits also fell, falling to 18.7 million when they reached 22.4 in the same month of the previous year. In this sector, legumes and vegetables are recovering from significant declines, exporting 58 million compared to 52.4 last year.
From both La Unió and Asaja they point out that the war greatly conditioned exports. José Vicente Andreu, head of the second organization in Alicante, sales to eastern countriesLarge consumers of fruit grown in the province experienced a decline, which is reflected in official statistics.
There was also a smaller decrease in the toy industry, which sold 11.1 million units instead of March 12, 2021, which is not a big deal as it was a period of little activity anyway. sector. Against this, shoes continue their gradual recoveryIn addition to the plastics that reached 136.7 million compared to 122.4 a year ago, the plastic that reached 36.9 million remained at 34.9 last year.
Finally, the quarterly comparison shows an increase of 15.8% in exports from the province of Alicante compared to 2021, which represents 1,699 million euros.