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The US is now Germany's most important trading partner

The US is now Germany's most important trading partner

As of: May 17, 2024 3:53 PM

The US was the most important country for German foreign trade in the first quarter of the year – no longer China, as it once was. Imports, especially from Asia, have declined significantly.

For a long time, China was considered Germany's primary trading partner. But in the first quarter of 2024, the U.S. surpassed the Asian nation in its imports and exports, the Bureau of Statistics announced today.

This continued a trend from the third and fourth quarters of last year. However, in the balance sheet for 2023, China was still slightly ahead of the US as Germany's most important trading partner.

In the first three months of this year, the Federal Republic imported significantly fewer goods from China. Chinese imports fell 11.7 percent to 36 billion euros compared to the same quarter last year, according to the statistics agency.

3.2 billion euros more trade

The value of exports from Germany to China fell 1.1 percent to 24 billion euros. Overall, the volume of foreign trade with China from January to March was 60 billion euros lower than the volume of trade with the United States, which totaled 63.2 billion euros.

Experts do not rule out that China will lose its position as Germany's most important trading partner to the US in overall balance by 2024 after eight consecutive years in first place. The state-owned German foreign trade agency Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) recently justified this in a study on China's current economic weakness: “The real estate crisis, geopolitical risks related to the US and weak industrial investment contribute to this.” German companies also sought to avoid relying on China for procurement.

China is the most important supplier

However, China was Germany's most important supplier in the first quarter of 2024, accounting for 10.9 percent of all imports. Overall, Germany imported goods worth a total of 331.2 billion euros in the three months. The second largest import came from the Netherlands (7.6 percent of all imports), followed by the United States (7.0 percent).

By value, for example, 85.4 percent of imported photovoltaic systems in Germany came from China in the first quarter, 86.3 percent of handheld computers, 60.5 percent of smartphones and 45.4 percent of lithium-ion batteries. Companies from Germany mainly supplied cars and car parts and machinery to China.