Metal Portugal beats exports record in 2023
Portuguese metallurgy and metalworks exports achieved an annual record in 2023, busting the €24Bn mark after growth of around 4%.
In a communiqué, the Association of Metallurgy and Metalworking Companies and Associates of Portugal (AIMMAP) called it “another remarkable feat” for the sector which “in one year, despite the economic situation, had managed to accumulate six of the 10 best results ever in regards of international trade”.
Despite stressing that the figures for 2023 were “unequivocally positive”, and attested to “yet another remarkable performance for a sector that has become used to struggling against adversities, whether structural and contextual”, said the Executive Vice-President of AIMMAP, Rafael Campos Pereira who warned “we should not close our eyes to warning signs, like falling rates and like-for-like falls (in exports) seen in previous months.”
“The value of exports posted in December was 3.1% less on the value registered in the same month of 2022. It was the fifth consecutive month in which exports suffered like-for-like falls and that obviously creates some apprehension for the first half of 2024, particularly since the country is going through a period of political instability which only adds to the less than favourable economic situation for Portugal’s main (trading) partners”, states AIMMAP.
So, despite the record, overseas sales were below expected targets given that in July the sector was looking to a growth of at least 10% in the order of €25Bn.
Rafael Campos Pereira also called attention to his belief that 2024 would mark “a greater cooling of the economy”, a “slight increase in unemployment” and would “consumer spending would remain at a moderate level” with a “greater falloff in demand”.
“The truth is that Portugal’s economy will continue to show very anaemic growth, offset only by exports and the investments that companies make to enhance these exports.”
However, faced with a cooling of exports and overseas demand, and with company financing falling and interest rates seeing only a gradual decrease, “We have to be concerned about the future”, he said.