Portuguese exports sink almost 40% at the peak of the pandemic

  • ECO News
  • 9 June 2020

The country's sales abroad registered an unprecedented drop in April, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). They fell 39.8%.

After contracting 4.9% in the first quarter, exports sank in April. With the country confined, and most of Portugal’s main economic partners struggling with the pandemic, the country’s sales abroad registered an unprecedented drop: they fell 39.8%. Imports showed practically the same negative variation.

“In April, exports and imports of goods registered nominal year-on-year changes of -39.8% and -39.1%, respectively (-12.7% and -11.6% in March 2020, in the same order),” says the National Statistics Institute (INE).

“Reflecting the constraints on the economic activity determined by the measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all product categories showed significant decreases,” says INE, highlighting exports and imports of transport equipment, which fell 77.6% and 75.2% respectively.

“Food and beverages were the only major product category to register an increase in exports (+0.3%) in April 2020,” adds the INE.

With exports sinking, but also the imports, the goods trade deficit decreased during the month of April, notes INE. There was a fall “of 672 million euros compared with the same month of 2019, reaching 1,131 million euros in April 2020,” the statistics office stresses.