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Spain's Jan-May trade deficit widens 501% to 26.6 billion euros

·1-min read
Containers are seen in a port in Malaga

(Reuters) -Spain's trade deficit widened 501% in the first five months of the year compared to the same period a year ago, led once again by an increase on oil and gas prices, the Industry Ministry said on Monday.

The figure stood at 26.57 billion euros ($26.96 billion), more than the deficit recorded in the full 2021 and up from 4.41 billion euros in the first five months a year ago.

Excluding energy imports and exports, the trade deficit in the period was 5.58 billion euros, the ministry said.

Imports rose 40.7% from the same period a year ago to 182.54 billion euros boosted by energy products, while exports increased by 24.4% to 155.97 billion euros, the ministry said.

The value of imports of energy products in May more than doubled year-on-year. Gas imports rose almost fivefold to 2.15 billion euros, while oil imports more than doubled to 5.29 billion euros.

Like many other European countries, Spain is entirely dependent on imports for its oil and gas supplies, and prices have soared to near record highs following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

($1 = 0.9856 euros)

(Reporting by Tiago Brandao, editing by Inti Landauro and Angus MacSwan)

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