In the Corona year 2020, China was Germany’s most important trading partner – for the fifth time in a row. As the Federal Statistical Office announced on Monday in Wiesbaden, sales in foreign trade with the People’s Republic grew by 3.0 percent despite the pandemic. Overall, according to preliminary results, goods worth 212.1 billion euros were traded between the two countries.
The Federal Office emphasized that the importance of China, especially for imports to Germany, is growing steadily: In 1980, China was still in 35th place among the most important importing states, and in 1990 already in 14th place. Since 2015, the People’s Republic of China has been the state from which most imports come to Germany. In 2020, goods worth 116.3 billion euros were imported from China. This means that imports have increased by 5.6 percent compared to 2019.
In second and third place of the most important trading partners in 2020 followed China, the Netherlands with foreign trade turnover of 172.8 billion euros (minus 8.7 percent) and the USA with 171.6 billion euros (minus 9.7 percent).
The Netherlands was also in second place among the most important importing countries (88.5 billion euros), ahead of the USA (67.8 billion euros). Here, however, the corona crisis led to declines: imports from the Netherlands fell by 9.6 percent compared to 2019 and imports from the United States by 5.0 percent.
The USA is still the most important buyer of German exports, although exports there fell by 12.5 percent compared to 2019 to 103.8 billion euros. Behind them are China with 95.9 billion euros (minus 0.1 percent) and France with 91.1 billion euros (minus 14.6 percent).
Germany had the highest export surpluses – which are repeatedly criticized internationally – in 2020 with the USA (36.1 billion euros), France (34.4 billion euros) and Great Britain (32.2 billion euros). For China, on the other hand, there was an import surplus in foreign trade: Overall, the value of goods imported from China exceeded the value of goods exported there by 20.4 billion euros.