Germany’s January 2022 exports and imports declined by 2.8% and 4.2% respectively compared with December 2021, data by the federal statistics office Destatis revealed on Friday (March 4).
Destatis also reported that exports increased by 7.5% and imports by 22.1% on January 2021. Exports were up by 4.0% and imports by 17.8% in January 2022 in seasonally and calendar adjusted terms compared with February 2020, the month before restrictions were imposed due to the Covid-19 in Germany.
After calendar and seasonal adjustment, Germany exported goods to the total value of 116.9 billion euros and imported goods to the value of 107.5 billion euros in January 2022. The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of 9.4 billion euros in January 2022. The calendar and seasonally adjusted surplus had been +8.1 billion euros in December 2021 and +20.7 billion euros in January 2021.
Data showed that German exports to EU countries fell 9.6% while those to non-EU countries rose 6.2%, particularly the US (3%), China (13.7%) and the UK (2.4%). As the trade with Russia was not yet restricted in January 2022 by the wave of economic sanctions imposed by the West as a result of the escalating Ukraine crisis, German exports rose by 14.4% to €2.6 billion.
Since then several major German companies have announced the suspension of their business activities in Russia, including the auto groups Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. And the Swiss-based company which built the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany has filed for insolvency. Nord Stream 2 AG is owned by Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom. The 1,230 km (767 mile) pipeline had not begun commercial operations because it was pending certification in Germany, which last week put this process on hold.
Most imports to Germany came from China. Goods to the value of 13.1 billion euros were imported from there, which was a 6.0% decrease compared with the previous month. Imports from the United States were up 2.0% to 6.5 billion euros. Imports from Russia increased by 18.9% to 3.9 billion euros. Imports from the United Kingdom gained only 0.4% to 2.7 billion euros over the same period.