Salvadoran exports to the EU grew modestly in 2023

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By Daniel Villatoro García

The manufacturing and textile sectors, together with electrical machines and appliances, showed the most significant growths towards the European region.

Salvadoran exports to the European Union (EU) reported a slight increase of 0.7% at the end of 2023, according to statistics published by the European Commission.

The information, which takes up data from the Eurostat portal, indicates that in 2022 El Salvador exported $242.5 million (225.2 million euros) to the 27 EU countries, a figure that exceeded the $244.2 million (EUR 266,8 million) at the end of 2023.

However, the data confirm a drop in the volume exported, with a contraction of 32.1 per cent of shipments to the EU. The European region went from buying 93 million kilograms in Salvadoran goods in 2022, to 63.2 million kilograms last year.

Statistics confirm that El Salvador sold more expensive to the EU during 2023. In fact, in 2022 each kilogram was sold on average to $2.61 to European countries, while for last year the value rose to $3.86 per kilogram.

Exports increased by a greater proportion to Croatia, which went from buying $9,152.60 from January to December 2022, to $20,954.84 for the same period of 2023, equivalent to a growth of 128.9 %.

Germany, Denmark, Slovakia, Spain, together with France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland, also increased the purchase of Salvadoran goods over the past year by 1.2 per cent to 79.9 per cent.

Despite the increases, the remaining 16 members reported a drop in imports of Salvadoran goods.

According to the EU, El Salvador exported 95.7 % less to Estonia between 2022 and 2023, from $90,938.17 to $3,869.48, generating a reduction of $87,068.69
What does the EU buy from El Salvador?

At the end of 2023, 37 per cent of the European Union’s purchases from Salvadoran companies were attributed to animal or vegetable fats and oils, 19 per cent were products from the plant kingdom, 14.8 per cent corresponds to textile materials and their manufactures, while 12.9 per cent were exported in machines, appliances and electrical equipment.

The increase in exports from El Salvador to the European Union depends on various areas that reported an increase in sales made. For example, weapons, municipalities and their parts increased by 385,8 %, from $11,652.58 in 2022 to $56,609.18 in 2023.

However, the most significant increase comes from the purchase by the European market of the textile and manufacturing sector, which increased by 9.6 per cent in the last year and closed 2023 with $36.2 million.

The list also includes the demand for Salvadoran machines, appliances and electrical equipment. This sector went from $10.5 million of shipments in 2022 to $31.5 million by 2023, an increase of 199.5 percent.

El Salvador also exported more plastic, rubbers and manufactures, wood, charcoal, wood pulp or other fibrous materials, textile materials, footwear, hats and other headdresses, as well as stone manufacture, fraguable plaster, cement, optical instruments and apparatus and photography.

The Central American market and the EU recently ratified a package of measures envisaged in the partnership agreement between the two regions.

The partnership is based on dialogue, trade and cooperation; however, the EU-sided region has been implementing the trade pillar on a provisional basis since 2013.

With the implementation of the agreement with all its edges, since 1 May, both regions hope to mobilize even more aspects such as trade.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeered in Diario El Mundo