Portuguese exports slow
Portuguese exports have grown in just two of the 10 main destinations it trades with around the world after four months of consecutive falls.
According to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) the only two markets where exports grew were France (+2.7%) and Poland (3.4%), albeit at modest amounts.
In the case of France, the increase was important given that it is Portugal’s second largest export market for Portugal’s companies (12.4% of total sales) while Poland in 10th place with just 1.4% of all exports.
The story was rather pessimistic for Portugal’s main export markets, especially Belgium, UK and Italy with falls that exceeded 20%.
“Taking into account the main trading countries in 2022, exports to Portugal most important trading partner Spain fell 10%, particularly in industrial supply and to the United Kingdom (-27%) where fuels and lubricants took a hammering.
In July, the like for like exports variation was -10.6% with falls in sales of fuels, lubricants, industrial supplies, industrial cements, chemicals and paper paste.
The fall in exports in these categories is down to a fall in prices but also in the quantity of goods sold overseas.
In the case of fuels, the fall was 46% on last year while industrial supplies fell 18.3%. The successive falls seen in April, May, June and July contrast with the significant increases seen in Q1 of 2023.
In the first three months of the year overseas sales there had been an impressive increase in exports of 19% by the end of March but since then exports had fallen: -3.6% in April, -6.9% in May, -3.4% in June and -10.6% in July.
Imports have also fallen for the same four month period by 8.2% because of a fall in the price of oil and industrial supplies, particularly common metals.
The commercial balance of payment deficit fell by €7 million on July 2022, reaching €2.218Bn.