Monday, October 25, 2021
German trade outside the EU is stagnating
Missing raw materials, fragile supply chains: German companies sell their products worse or not even manufacture them at all. For the third time in a row, sales to countries outside the EU are falling. However, there is growth in business with the two largest economies.
Material bottlenecks and disrupted supply chains depressed sales of German goods to countries outside the EU in September for the third month in a row. They were 0.4 percent lower than in the previous month, as the Federal Statistical Office announced. In August there was a minus of 1.3 percent, in July even 2.7 percent. Despite the negative series, exports to these so-called third countries are 7.1 percent above the level of February 2020, the month before the start of the restrictions due to the corona pandemic in Germany. Around half (47 percent) of German export products go to customers in these countries.
In total, goods worth 52.9 billion euros were exported to these third countries in September. That was 4.3 percent more than in September 2020. The most important customer was once again the USA: Goods worth 10.8 billion euros were sold there, an increase of 15.7 percent. Business with the People’s Republic of China grew by 1.1 percent to EUR 8.6 billion. In contrast, exports to Great Britain fell by almost a ninth to 5.7 billion euros.
Delivery bottlenecks for intermediate products such as microchips are currently holding back production and exports of goods. According to the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), 42 percent of companies cannot process existing orders due to a lack of materials. Traffic jams at large trading ports and a lack of container capacity also have a dampening effect. The situation is made even more difficult by high logistics costs and unresolved trade disputes, as the Federation of German Industries (BDI) recently emphasized.