Consequences of war and sanctions: German exports to Russia fell by almost 60 percent

German exports to Russia collapsed in March due to sanctions imposed in connection with the invasion of Ukraine. Its value fell by 57.5 percent compared to the same month last year to 1.1 billion euros, the Federal Statistical Office reported. “As a result, the Russian Federation ranked only 12th among the most important destinations for German exports outside the EU in March,” – the report said. As recently as February, Russia was ranked fifth on this list. On February 24, Russian troops attacked Ukraine, which led the West to impose strict sanctions on Russia. These include export restrictions.

Overall, German exports to countries outside the European Union – so-called third countries – fell by 7.2 percent in March compared to the previous month (February) and amounted to 52.8 billion euros. However, it was up 3.2 percent from March 2021.

US still most important customer for German goods among non-EU countries

The United States remained the most important customer for German exporters. Goods worth 13.5 billion euros were exported there. Thus, shipments to the United States increased by 21 percent compared to the same month last year. Goods worth 10.2 billion euros were exported to the People’s Republic of China, 1.0 percent less than in the previous year. Exports to the United Kingdom contracted by 0.3 percent to €6.4 billion.

German exporters are expecting a difficult year. “The war in Ukraine is a heavy burden on German foreign trade,” Dirk Jandura, president of the BGA, said recently. “The medium- and long-term effects are so far difficult to predict,” he added. The association of chambers of commerce and industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, DIHK) takes a similar view, additionally pointing to another massive wave of coronavirus in China. “The economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the once again escalating production and logistics disruptions in China are shaking up global trade,” said Volker Treier, DIHK director of foreign trade.


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