International Trade May 2024

Almost 9 million euros are earmarked for small and medium-sized exporting companies by the network of Spanish Chambers of Commerce (29.05.2024)

The budget for the export support activities of the Chambers of Commerce in 2024 amounts to 8,907 million euros, earmarked for the Cameral Plan for Internationalisation. This budget will allow 548 activities to be carried out, including 352 foreign promotion activities, 116 training activities and 80 information activities, mostly aimed at SMEs.

92% of the budget will be devoted to promotional activities, with a significant focus on the EU (32%), Africa (13%) and Asia (11%). Direct trade missions stand out, with 166 planned, as well as 21 business meetings. Germany and France will be the main markets in the EU, while Morocco and the United States will also receive significant attention. In addition, 116 training activities and 80 information days will be held to promote internationalisation. The plan is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and has been coordinated with various entities and approved by the Secretary of State for Trade.

SYGA to be replaced in Colombia by a new import management system (24.05.2024)

This May 2024, according to the National Tax and Customs Directorate, Decree 0659 has been signed which seeks to streamline international trade in Colombia by establishing a new Customs Statute, which will replace the current Customs Information and Management System (SYGA), to strengthen controls against smuggling and facilitate secure trade in Colombia. This measure obliges importers to declare their goods in advance, streamlining customs processes and preventing smuggling modalities such as ‘cambiazo’. In addition, the use of satellite tracking devices will be required for goods in transit through the country.

US imposes new tariffs on Chinese goods (14.05.2024)

The US government imposes tariffs of 50% on $18 billion in Chinese goods. The focus of these tariffs is on electric vehicles (EVs), as China owns the largest car company BYD. However, the government fears that China will use Mexico to sell vehicles in the US, considering that Mexico is a major exporter of auto parts and vehicles to the US and Chinese companies. Therefore, in order not to violate the TMEC (Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada) trade agreement by preventing Chinese vehicles made in Mexico from entering the US, it imposes tariffs on China directly.

Slowdown in trade in goods in the European Union (21.05.2024)

The first quarter of the year marked a significant slowdown in trade, especially within the EU’s borders. According to Eurostat data, trade in goods between eurozone countries experienced its biggest drop since the Great Recession, falling by 8.4%. This contraction, the sharpest since 2009, reflects an exhaustion that is also reflected in domestic performance, where Spain’s exports fell by 9% between January and March. The European economic slowdown appears to be the main factor behind this decline, with the eurozone entering technical recession by the end of 2023, led by falls in large markets such as Germany.

Food delivery groups have racked up millions of dollars in losses (29.05.2024)

The business model of food delivery apps has been called into question, especially because of the working conditions of their delivery drivers. The ‘rider law’ in the European Union seeks to regulate the situation of these workers, considered by many as false self-employed. However, the economic viability of these platforms depends more on their initial financing by large investment funds. Companies such as DoorDash, Deliveroo, Delivery Hero and Just Eat Takeaway have accumulated more than $20 billion in operating losses since going public, and their shares are trading well below the peaks reached during the pandemic. As a result, these companies face challenges from rising interest rates and a more challenging macroeconomic environment. Unlike its rivals, Uber has recorded its first full year of operating profitability in 2023.

Global shipping tensions rise (29.05.2024)

Ports around the world, including Algeciras and those in Morocco, are facing serious difficulties due to increased disruption, congestion, and instability in the Middle East, affecting global shipping following the reorganisation of maritime trade networks. These problems are mainly due to the decision of many shipping lines to divert their routes away from Yemeni waters after suffering Iranian-backed attacks. As a result, container ship arrivals in the Gulf of Aden, at the entrance to the Red Sea, are down 90 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Large US goods trade deficit (30.05.2024)

The US goods trade deficit widened 7.7 per cent in April to $99.4 billion, the highest in nearly two years, the Commerce Department has reported. Imports rose 3.1 per cent to $269.3 billion, driven by a 10.4 per cent increase in motor vehicle purchases, while exports rose just 0.5 per cent to $169.9 billion.

Eurozone inflation rebounds to 2.6 % in May (31.05.2024)

The rate of inflation in the euro zone is said to have stood at 2.6% year-on-year in May, two tenths of a percentage point higher than the rise in prices observed in April. The euro area thus recorded its first upturn since December 2023, mainly due to the rise in the cost of energy and fresh food.

Chinese vehicle brand (GWM) to cease operations in Europe (31.05.2024)

Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) has decided to abandon its European operations, closing its Munich office and laying off around 100 employees. Initially, GWM planned to launch its Ora electric car and Wey plug-in hybrid in Europe this year, after entering the European market in 2021. However, due to poor sales, the company is changing its strategy and will focus on Asian markets such as China, Vietnam and Singapore. In the last quarter, GWM sold only 1,600 cars in Europe, even though it is one of the first Chinese car brands to sell in mainland Europe. In addition, the EU may impose new taxes on Asian cars in June.

Gold price rise (23.05.2024)

The spike in the gold price of 25% since October is due to the fact that Russia and China want to reduce their dependence on the US dollar, describing US policy as ‘destructive and hostile’. Moreover, just before the outbreak of conflict in the Middle East, the price of the precious metal soared to an all-time high of $2,450 per ounce.


In Madrid, 31 May 2024

International Trade and Sanctions Department

Lupicinio International Law Firm


International Sanctions, Arbitration, Litigation, Criminal, Competition AND MORE!

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