April 22, 2024

Exports to the US and China fell sharply: why are German exports collapsing?

DrGerman exporters' business with important clients abroad such as the United States and China declined significantly in December. Exports to countries outside the European Union fell by 4.0 percent in December after calendar and season adjustments compared to the previous month to 57.2 billion euros, the Federal Statistics Office announced on Monday. Compared to December 2022, there was also a decrease in export business with so-called third countries, that is, by 1.7 percent after calendar and seasonally adjusted periods. Without adjustment, the decrease was 9.2 percent.

“The United States was also the most important trading partner for German exporters in December 2023,” the statisticians explained. But American exports fell by 9.9 percent compared to the same month last year to 11.2 billion euros. Goods worth 7.2 billion euros were delivered to the People's Republic of China, a decrease of 12.7 percent. On the other hand, business with Great Britain grew by a strong 19.7 percent to reach €6.0 billion.

German exports to Russia collapsed again as a result of sanctions following the attack on Ukraine. It decreased by 32.3 percent to 0.6 billion euros. In December, Russia was only the 20th most important destination country for German exports outside the European Union. For comparison: In February 2022, the month in which the attack on Ukraine began, Russia was in fifth place.

Trade with third countries covers almost half of all German exports. The leading indicator makes preliminary results for an important part of German foreign trade quickly available. Since business does not always develop in parallel with trade with EU countries, the overall results of foreign trade cannot be predicted on this basis, according to statisticians.

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