After growth in the first half of the year, Germany's export companies face difficult months. In the first six months, despite delivery bottlenecks and the economic slowdown at important trading partners, exports of goods rose by 13 percent compared to the same period last year to 754.2 billion euros, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday in Wiesbaden. According to the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), however, the next few months will remain a challenge for exporters. The growth in June cannot hide this either.
Disruptions in the supply chains and high costs for energy, raw materials and imported preliminary products continue to hamper production, said DIHK foreign trade expert Carolin Herweg. "The economic slowdown in important export partners such as the USA, China and the euro zone is also dampening demand for products "Made in Germany".
Imports increase even more
Imports grew even faster than exports in the first half of the year. Goods worth 722.5 billion euros were imported, which was 26.2 percent more than in the same period last year. The increased prices for crude oil and gas may also have played a role.
Germany is dependent on energy imports from abroad. Oil and gas prices have risen significantly since the beginning of the Ukraine war. The impending gas shortage is also increasingly affecting the outlook for the export economy. This is the result of a survey recently published by the Munich Ifo Institute among around 2,300 industrial companies. Export expectations, a sentiment indicator for the industry, have clouded over recently.
Surprisingly stronger June
In June, however, exports picked up again after a dip in May. Exports rose 4.5 percent month-on-month. Despite the economic slowdown in the USA, there was an increase of 6.2 percent in trade with the world's largest economy. Exports to China, on the other hand, increased by only 2.4 percent month-on-month. Along with the USA, the country is one of the most important individual markets for goods "Made in Germany".
Overall, Germany exported goods worth 134.3 billion euros in June. That was 18.4 percent more than a year earlier. Imports increased by 27.9 percent to 127.9 billion euros.
Despite sanctions against Russia following the attack on Ukraine, exports to the country rose 14.5 percent month-on-month to 1.2 billion euros in June. Within a year, however, they collapsed by 40.3 percent. Imports from Russia increased by 4.8 percent to 3.5 billion euros. The country mainly supplies raw materials and energy.