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Spain's defence sales drop offset by big orderbook rise

Spain's defence exports fell 10.4% to EUR3.62 billion (USD4.39 billion) in 2020, but were softened by a steep rise in new orders, a parliamentary source has confirmed to Janes .

The details are listed in an annual Ministry of Industry and Trade report, which has been circulated among members of Congress but has yet to be officially published, a ministry spokesman said on 15 June.

The document highlights that defence sales fell generally in line with Spanish exports as a whole during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the source.

Defence sales dropped to their lowest level since the EUR3.02 billion recorded in 2014, although it managed to outperform other key manufacturing sectors such as road vehicles.

The major share of defence exports went to fellow member countries of NATO and the European Union (EU), which totaled EUR2.79 billion.

These were led by the Netherlands at EUR668.5 million, whose purchase list included three Airbus refuelling aircraft destined for the NATO Support and Procurement Organisation (NSPO), followed by Germany at EUR659.4 million, which included four transport aircraft.

Other markets were led by Australia at EUR256 million, principally for a navy oiler from Navantia; Singapore at EUR179 million, which included an Airbus refueller aircraft; and Brazil at EUR51.6 million.

Orders authorised by the government rose 163% from 2019, reaching EUR26.55 billion, part of which was attributed to Covid-19-related delays, with the aircraft component totalling EUR15.5 billion.

As usual, aircraft sales made up the bulk of Spain's 2020 exports at 72.4%, of which 77.3% was accounted for by EU and NATO partners.

Saudi Arabia remained the primary market for Spanish munitions, which accounted for EUR27 million of that country's total orders worth EUR48.3 million.

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