According to the Statistical Institute of Catalonia (Idescat), products with a high technological content are the only ones that have increased sales abroad (3.4%) in the whole year. On the other hand, product exports with a medium to high technological level have decreased (‑14.2%) as have those with a medium to low level (-20.2%) and those with a low level (-4.1%).
Data for the fourth quarter of 2020 show a recovery in overseas sales compared to previous quarters (severely affected by activity restrictions, due to covid-19) and reach a value of €18,080.0 million, a figure that represents an increase of 1.7% in relation to the quarter of 2019. The increase in sales of high-tech products (6.9%) is remarkable, while low and mid-low-tech products have seen decreases in exports (-5.2% and -0.3%, respectively), but less intense than in previous quarters. In contrast, high technology with a decrease of 4.2% shows a decline in sales since the second half of the year.
Catalonia's high-tech exports have reached the highest value ever recorded, €9,038.1 million in 2020, and represent more than a third (36.3%) of Spanish exports. The increase in high-tech exports (3.4%) is due to the increase in sales of pharmaceutical products (7.2%), as other products at this level have decreased. By geographical destination, sales in the European Union grew by 5.9% and those outside the EU by 0.7%.
Sales abroad of high-level industrial products, which represent 44% of industrial exports, have decreased by 14.2% compared to the previous year and have reached a value of €27,445.6 million in 2020. All product groups at this level have decreased, including the group of electrical materials and equipment, machinery, and vehicles (-16.9%). By geographical areas, sales have decreased both in the European Union and in the rest of the world (-14.6% and -13.2%, respectively).