MADRID, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Soaring energy prices pushed Spain's trade deficit in the first nine months of the year to widen four-fold from the same period a year earlier, to 53.44 billion euros ($55.49 billion), the industry ministry said on Thursday.
That compared with a 13.27 billion euro deficit in the first nine months of 2021 and was twice as large as the deficit during the whole of last year, the ministry said in its monthly report.
Imports during the first nine months of this year rose 40% to 340.11 billion euros, mainly inflated by dearer oil and gas during the period, while exports rose 25% to 286.67 billion euros, the ministry said.
Like many other European countries, Spain is entirely dependent on imports for its oil and gas supplies, whose prices have soared following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The price of energy products rose 69% in the period from the same period a year ago, the ministry said. Excluding energy imports and exports, the trade deficit was 13.38 billion euros.
Imports and exports are growing at a high year-on-year rate in nominal terms, Spanish State Secretary for Trade Xiana Mendez said in the report.
($1 = 0.9630 euros)
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