Top German Trade Balances

Neuschwanstein Castle Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Exported cars and automotive parts were major factors behind Germany’s highest trade surpluses by product. United States and United Kingdom placed first and second respectively among trade partners with which Germany experienced the highest positive trade balances.

Germany’s overall trade surplus for all products equaled US$274.9 billion in 2015, up by 23.9% from $221.9 billion for 2011. Year over year, the $274.9 billion in black ink represents a -2.9% setback from the $283.2 billion surplus that Germany earned during 2014.

Top German Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $227.7 billion for Germany in its global trade during 2015. Metrics listed below highlight Germany’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Cars: US$107.2 billion (down -2.9% since 2011)
  2. Medication mixes in dosage: $24.7 billion (up 33.2%)
  3. Automobile parts/accessories: $19.2 billion (down -2.7%)
  4. Miscel. aircraft/spacecraft (e.g. helicopters/launchers): $17.9 billion (up 48.3%)
  5. Miscel. machinery: $8.9 billion (down -8%)
  6. Piston engine parts: $7.3 billion (down -15.2%)
  7. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $6.8 billion (up 6.6%)
  8. Tractors: $6.7 billion (down -9.2%)
  9. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $5.7 billion (down -24.6%)
  10. Liquid pumps and elevators: $5.7 billion (down -13.8%)

Three of Germany’s top product surpluses rose in value from 2011 to 2015: miscellaneous aircraft and spacecraft including helicopters or launchers (up 48.3%), medication mixes in dosage (up 33.2%) and centrifuges, filters or purifiers (up 6.6%).

Positive trade balances for the remaining seven products fell in value. The top decliners were: transmission shafts, gears and clutches (down -24.6%), piston engine parts (down -15.2%) and liquid pumps and elevators (down -13.8%).

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$104 billion for Germany in international trade during 2015. Germany has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Crude oil: -US$36.4 billion (down -48.5% since 2011)
  2. Petroleum gases: -$22.4 billion (down -37.4%)
  3. Computers, optical readers: -$8.6 billion (up 3.9%)
  4. Phone system devices: -$8.3 billion (up 64.4%)
  5. Processed petroleum oils: -$8 billion (down -59.2%)
  6. Aluminum (unwrought): -$4.4 billion (down -23.6%)
  7. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: -$4.3 billion (down -36.7%)
  8. Heterocyclics, nucleic acids: -$4 billion (up 107.2%)
  9. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$3.9 billion (down -21.1%)
  10. Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): -$3.5 billion (up 11.1%)

Germany’s red ink in global trade expanded for four of these top products, led by the following: heterocyclics and nucleic acids (up 107.2%), phone system devices including smartphones (up 64.4%), seats excluding barber or dentist chairs (up 11.1%) and computers (up 3.9%).

The four trade products showing the deficit declines were: refined petroleum (down -59.2%), crude oil (down -48.5%), petroleum gases (down -37.4%) and coal-related commodities (down -36.7%).

Country+

In 2015, Germany generated a robust surplus subtotal worth $249.5 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. United States: US$59.2 billion (up 73.4% since 2011)
  2. United Kingdom: $56.6 billion (up 96.9%)
  3. France: $39.9 billion (down -18.7%)
  4. Austria: $23 billion (down -19.3%)
  5. United Arab Emirates: $15.3 billion (up 64.2%)
  6. Spain: $13.9 billion (down -19.2%)
  7. South Korea: $11.4 billion (up 302.7%)
  8. Saudi Arabia: $10.2 billion (up 22%)
  9. Italy: $10.1 billion (down -47.7%)
  10. Sweden: $9.9 billion (down -9.6%)

Growing at the fastest pace were German trade surpluses with South Korea (up 302.7%), United Kingdom (up 96.9%), United States (up 73.4%) and United Arab Emirates (up 64.2%).

Over the five-year period, Germany’s positive net exports declined with half of its top partners: Italy (down -47.7%), Austria (down -19.3%), Spain (down -19.2%), France (down -18.7%) and Sweden (down -9.6%) .

Country-

Germany experienced a losing international trade relationship with 58 countries, islands or territories. The following 10 trade partners created a -$76.9 billion deficit subtotal in 2015 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$23.5 billion (up 8.6% since 2011)
  2. Netherlands: -$9.6 billion (down -45.9%)
  3. Norway: -$8.7 billion (down -50.5%)
  4. Russia: -$8.6 billion (up 28.8%)
  5. Vietnam: -$6.4 billion (up 118.6%)
  6. Ireland: -$5.7 billion (down -49.4%)
  7. Bangladesh: -$4.5 billion (up 19.4%)
  8. Japan: -$4.3 billion (down -67.6%)
  9. Czech Republic: -$3.2 billion (down -0.3%)
  10. Malaysia: -$2.5 billion (down -0.5%)

Up 118.6%, Germany’s trade deficit with Vietnam grew the fastest from 2011 to 2015. Germany’s negative net exports with Russia expanded by 28.8% followed by a 19.4% increase for German trading with Bangladesh and an 8.6% rise for China.

Germany trimmed the size of its negative trade balances with the remaining six top partners, led by: Japan (down -67.6%), Norway (down -50.5%), Ireland (down -49.4%) and Netherlands (down -45.9%).


 
See also Germany’s Top 10 Major Export Companies and Germany’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on November 14, 2016

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on November 14, 2016

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 14, 2016

Wikipedia, Economy of Germany. Accessed on November 14, 2016