Germany - Foreign trade

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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:

Germany

% OF COUNTRY TOTAL
Automobiles 11.0
Electrical machinery 8.4
Motor vehicle parts and accessories 2.9
Aircraft 2.7
Telecommunications equipment 2.5
Polymers 2.4
Medicinal and pharmaceutical products 2.4
Iron and steel 2.5
Organic chemicals 2.4
Paper products 2.2

In 2000 Germany's imports were distributed among the following categories:

Germany

Consumer goods 14.4%
Food 5.9%
Fuels 8.5%
Industrial supplies 23.1%
Machinery 22.1%
Transportation 13.9%
Other 12.0%

Principal trading partners in 1998 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:

Germany

COUNTRY EXPORTS IMPORTS BALANCE
France 62,776 47,871 14,905
US 56,388 41,792 14,596
UK 45,711 34,909 10,802
Italy 41,655 33,367 8,288
Netherlands 35,427 44,102 -8,675
Belgium 27,837 24,052 3,785
Austria 29,211 19,101 10,110
Switzerland 23,947 17,556 6,391
Spain 24,967 15,121 9,846
Japan 12,151 24,484 -12,333

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