Germany is one of the world's great trading nations. In some years—most recently, 1990—it has surpassed the US as the world's leading exporter. The volume of exports increased from DM 8.4 billion in 1950 to DM 671 billion in 1992, while the volume of imports increased from DM 11.4 billion to DM 637.5 billion. Manufactured products are the leading exports, accounting for 90% of the total.
Germany supplies a large portion of the world with automobiles and car parts (17.5%). Diverse machinery exports, including non-electrical and electrical parts, also account for a large percentage of the world's exports in those commodities. Most of Germany's exports stay in Europe. The top nine exports are as follows:
|% OF COUNTRY TOTAL|
|Motor vehicle parts and accessories||2.9|
|Medicinal and pharmaceutical products||2.4|
|Iron and steel||2.5|
In 2000 Germany's imports were distributed among the following categories:
Principal trading partners in 1998 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows: