Following a positive performance in November, Germany's exports took a downturn in December, revealing a 4.6 percent drop compared to the preceding month and the same period in the previous year, as reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Monday. For the entirety of 2023, statisticians noted a decrease of 1.4 percent, although imports experienced an even steeper decline.
According to the data, Germany exported goods totaling 125.3 billion euros in December, while imports amounted to 103.1 billion euros. Imports witnessed a 6.7 percent reduction compared to November and a more significant 12.4 percent decline compared to December 2022. Despite the fall in exports, the export surplus surged from 13.7 billion euros the previous year to 22.2 billion euros.
The United States maintained its position as the foremost buyer of German products. Over the entire year, imports dropped by 9.7 percent, contributing to the export surplus reaching 209.6 billion euros.
November saw a temporary positive trend in export figures due to increased exports to EU countries. However, EU exports experienced a notable decrease in December. While exports to third countries saw a slight uptick in November, they declined again in December, though the drop was less pronounced.
The USA remained the primary individual buyer of German products, with a month-on-month export decrease of 5.5 percent to 12.7 billion euros. Exports to China also fell by 7.9 percent to 7.5 billion euros, placing the People's Republic just ahead of Great Britain, where German products worth 7.4 billion euros were exported.
In terms of imports, China retained its status as the most crucial trading partner, despite an 8.5 percent month-on-month reduction, amounting to 11.6 billion euros. In contrast to the overall trend, imports from the USA slightly increased by 1.9 percent to 8.2 billion euros. Germany procured goods worth 54.3 billion euros from EU partner countries, marking a 7.4 percent decrease from the previous month.