Cifras INE

Health Industries

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The covid-19 pandemic has increased global demand for products for disease protection, prevention and early detection. These international purchasing flows were reflected in international trade statistics for the first months of the year. In the case of Spain, data showed an almost 23% increase in imports from non-EU countries during the first four months of the year, compared to the same period the previous year, and a 5.2% increase in exports to the same group from non-EU countries.

Along with the latest data on covid products traded between countries, here we provide the main results from the latest Structural Business Statistics regarding the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and medical and dental use products. The pharmaceutical industries are among the sector’s most productive and have some of the highest export sales. In the case of medical and dental products, microenterprise predominates (less than 10 employees per company) and most sales are within Spain.

Sources: Eurostat (Annual detailed enterprise statistics for industry, EU trade since 2015 of COVID-19 medical supplies ), INE (Structural Business Statistics: Industrial Sector).

Subir COVID-19-Related Products

What are they?

This publication refers to products sold and used in direct response to the pandemic as covid-19-related products, or covid products: sterilization products (including disinfectants), medical vehicles and supplies, protective clothing, diagnostic test equipment, medical devices, oxygen equipment and medical consumables.

Trade flows on the rise, especially for protective equipment

According to data published by Eurostat, between January and April of 2020 the value of Spanish imports of these products from non-EU countries increased by 22.9% compared to the same period in the previous year. Intra-EU imports also increased, although to a lesser extent (8.7%).

On the other hand, in the same period the value of exports to non-EU countries increased by 5.2% and to Member States by 11.7%.

Germany and China were the main trading partners

For all products, the primary countries of origin for extra-EU imports were China, the United States and Switzerland. Among the Member States, the main countries of origin were Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

In the first four-month period of 2020, among the Member States, the value of exports to Germany, France, Portugal and Italy stand out; and among countries outside the EU, to the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Japan.

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Protective Clothing

By product type, the increase in extra-EU imports of protective equipment is of note, not so much in quantity as in value (200.6% in value compared to 18.8% in quantity). The opposite occurs in EU imports, with a greater increase in quantity than in value, and a less pronounced difference.

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Subir Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

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Medium-sized and high-productivity companies

According to the latest data from the Structural Business Statistics: Industrial sector, in 2018 there were 330 companies in Spain whose main activity was pharmaceutical product manufacturing. Turnover for these companies reached 14,641 million euros, which represents 2.7% of turnover for the entire manufacturing industry.

Within the current EU (27), these companies’ turnover represents 3.9%. By country, Denmark has the highest weight (12.1%), followed by Belgium (9.2%) and Cyprus (6.9%). Outside the EU, Switzerland stands out: pharmaceutical product manufacturing accounts for slightly over a quarter of its entire manufacturing industry (26.4%).

On average, 47,449 people worked in these companies in Spain, with a high rate of paid personnel (99.8%) almost half of whom are women (49.1%). There are 143.8 employees per company, well above the 11.7 of the average manufacturing industry in Spain.

More than half of sales are outside Spain

These industries are among the most productive, with 110,546 euros per person and the highest percentage of sales abroad. In 2018, almost 53% of turnover corresponded to sales outside Spain, compared to an average of 38.2% in the manufacturing industry as a whole.

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Subir Manufacturing of Medical and Dental Use Products

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Small Businesses

Within the group Other manufacturing industries -and, with less weight, in the industrial sector as a whole- are the companies whose main activity is the manufacturing of medical and dental instruments and supplies.

There were 5,117 of these companies in Spain in 2018, with a turnover of almost 2,000 million euros. This represents just 0.4% of turnover for the entire manufacturing industry.

Within the EU, these companies’ turnover represents an average of 1.1% of industry as a whole. By country, Denmark has the highest weight (2.2%), followed by Germany (1.3%) and Italy (1.1%). Country outside the EU with a significant weight are Iceland (3.6%) and Switzerland (1.9%).

On average, 21,975 people worked in these companies in Spain, of which 81.9% were paid personnel. Of this personnel, half were women (50.1%). There are an average 4.3 employees per company, well below the 11.7 of the average manufacturing industry in Spain.

Almost 70.3% of sales are made within Spain

Productivity is 38,991 euros per employee, lower than the manufacturing industry average of 59,842 euros. Likewise, these companies are below average in percentage of sales abroad. 29.7% of sales are outside of Spain, compared to an average of 38.2% in the manufacturing industry as a whole.

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