Top German Trade Balances

Neuschwanstein Castle Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle

Exported cars and medication mixes in dosage were major factors behind Germany’s highest trade surpluses by product. United States and United Kingdom continued to place first and second respectively among trade partners with which Germany gleaned the highest positive trade balances.

Germany’s overall trade surplus for all products equaled US$276.6 billion in 2017, up by 35.4% from $204.3 billion in 2010. Year over year, the $276.6 billion in black ink during 2017 represents a -1.2% deterioration from the $280.1 billion surplus that Germany earned during 2016.

Top German Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $212.4 billion for Germany in its global trade during 2017. Metrics listed below highlight Germany’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Cars: US$98.9 billion (Up 5.9% since 2010)
  2. Medication mixes in dosage: $26.7 billion (Up 21.2%)
  3. Miscellaneous aircraft, spacecraft (e.g. helicopters, launchers): $21.7 billion (Up 214.2%)
  4. Automobile parts/accessories: $21 billion (Up 30.3%)
  5. Miscellaneous machinery: $11.3 billion (Up 47%)
  6. Piston engine parts: $7 billion (Down -1.6%)
  7. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $6.6 billion (Up 24.8%)
  8. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $6.5 billion (Up 28.3%)
  9. Tractors: $6.4 billion (Up 39.8%)
  10. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $6.2 billion (Up 30.1%)

Among the top product-specific trade balances, the fastest growers from 2010 to 2017 were: miscellaneous aircraft or spacecraft including helicopters (up 214.2%), miscellaneous machinery (up 47%) and tractors (up 39.8%).

Positive trade balances for just one top product fell in value, namely piston engine parts with a -1.6% drop over the 7-year period.

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$107.8 billion for Germany in international trade during 2017. Germany has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Crude oil: -US$362 billion (Down -31.1% since 2010)
  2. Petroleum gases: -$21 billion (Down -24.7%)
  3. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$10 billion (Up 215.5%)
  4. Processed petroleum oils: -$8.2 billion (Down -40%)
  5. Computers, optical readers: -$8.1 billion (Down -1.8%)
  6. Heterocyclics, nucleic acids: -$5.8 billion (Up 602.8%)
  7. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: -$5.7 billion (Up 21.8%)
  8. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$4.59 billion (Down -15.7%)
  9. Aluminum (unwrought): -$4.57 billion (Up 1.7%)
  10. Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): -$3.8 billion (Up 27%)

Germany’s red ink in global trade expanded for half of these top products, led by heterocyclics and nucleic acids (up 380.3%) and phone system devices including smartphones (up 215.5%).

The three leading reductions among these top product deficits were -40% for processed petroleum oils, -31.1% for crude oil and -24.7% for petroleum gases.

Country+

In 2017, Germany generated a robust surplus subtotal worth $247.2 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. United States: US$57 billion (Up 109.3% since 2010)
  2. United Kingdom: $53.3 billion (Up 92.4%)
  3. France: $46.2 billion (Up 20.5%)
  4. Austria: $24.2 billion (Down -6.8%)
  5. Spain: $12.8 billion (Down -20.1%)
  6. Sweden: $12.4 billion (Up 46%)
  7. United Arab Emirates: $11.4 billion (Up 21.4%)
  8. Italy: $10.9 billion (Down -44.7%)
  9. Poland: $9.6 billion (Down -24.8%)
  10. Switzerland: $9.4 (Down -23.4%)

Growing over the 7-year period were German trade surpluses with United States (up 109.3%), United Kingdom (up 92.4%), Sweden (up 46%), United Arab Emirates (up 21.4%) and France (up 20.5%).

Germany’s positive net exports declined at the fastest pace with Italy (down -44.7%), Poland (down -24.8%), Switzerland (down -23.4%) and Spain (down -20.1%).

Country-

Germany experienced a losing international trade relationship with 60 countries, islands or territories. The following 10 trade partners created a -$56.1 billion deficit subtotal in 2017 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$16 billion (Down -47.1% since 2010)
  2. Vietnam: -$6.9 billion (Up 256.4%)
  3. Czech Republic: -$5.5 billion (Up 56.7%)
  4. Ireland: -$5.4 billion (Down -58.6%)
  5. Bangladesh: -$5.2 billion (Up 108.2%)
  6. Malaysia: -$4.3 billion (Up 134.4%)
  7. Netherlands: -$4 billion (Down -45%)
  8. Japan: -$3.8 billion (Down -68.3%)
  9. Libya: -$2.51 billion (Down -10%)
  10. Kazakhstan: -$2.5 (Down -23.4%)

Germany’s country-specific trade deficits expanded for four of its top trade partners from 2010 to 2017, led by Vietnam (up 256.4%). Germany’s deficit with Malaysia expanded by 134.4% followed by Bangladesh (up 108.2%) and Czech Republic (up 56.7%).

Germany trimmed the size of its negative trade balances with the six other top partners led by Japan (down -68.3%), Ireland (down -58.6%) and China (down -47.1%).


 

See also Germany’s Top 10 Imports, Germany’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Germany’s Top Trading Partners, Germany’s Top 10 Exports and Highest Value German Export Products

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 7, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 7, 2018

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 7, 2018

Wikipedia, Economy of Germany. Accessed on March 7, 2018