German exports fell unexpectedly sharply in September. Exports, especially to China and the US, have declined significantly. Germany also delivered fewer goods to the EU.
German exports fell surprisingly sharply in September, down 2.4 percent from August to 126.5 billion euros after calendar and seasonal adjustments, the Federal Statistics Office announced today. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline of just 1.1 percent. A decrease of 7.5 percent compared to the same month last year.
America is the most important buyer country
The United States continued to be the most important customer country for German products. The value of exported goods decreased by 4.0 percent to 12.8 billion euros. Exports to China fell 7.3 percent month-on-month to 7.7 billion. At the same time, the People’s Republic was the most important exporter to Germany. Chinese goods worth 13 billion euros were imported. It is minus 0.9 percent.
In September 2023, goods worth 69.8 billion euros were exported to member states of the European Union (EU). Goods worth 58.7 billion euros were imported from there. Compared to August 2023, exports to EU countries decreased by 2.1 percent and imports from these countries decreased by 2.6 percent.
Imports from China have declined
In September 2023, Germany exported goods worth a total of 126.5 billion euros and imported goods worth 110.0 billion euros. The foreign trade balance closed September 2023 with a surplus of 16.5 billion euros. In August 2023, the calendar and seasonally adjusted balance of foreign trade figures was 17.7 billion euros, compared to 5.0 billion euros in September 2022.
Most of the imports came from the People’s Republic of China in September 2023. From there, 13.0 billion euros worth of calendar and seasonally adjusted goods were imported, down 0.9 percent from the previous month. Imports from the US rose 0.5 percent to 7.7 billion euros.
“A Worrying Trend”
“The downward trend for foreign trade has continued almost unbroken since the beginning of the year. This is a somewhat worrying trend, especially as we expect a significant slowdown in growth in the USA, an important trading partner, in the coming year,” commented Jens-Oliver. Niklasch, Economist at LBBW Therefore, it is unlikely that foreign trade will soon become the necessary economic driver for the German economy, the expert said.
For Thomas Kitzel, Chief Economist at VP Bank, incoming orders are a key factor for foreign trade: “A data triad: incoming orders, industrial production and exports. Only when order books grow, which, with some lag, will lead. Higher industrial production and eventually growing lead to exports,” Kitchell said. But at the beginning of the chain, i.e. the incoming orders, there is currently a problem.
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