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$270 billion in 2018, up by 21.7% from $221.9 billion in 2011. Year over year, the $270 billion in black ink during 2018 represents a -2.4% decline from the $276.6 billion surplus that Germany generated during 2017.

Top German Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $214.4 billion for Germany in its global trade during 2018. Metrics listed below highlight Germany’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Cars: US$93.2 billion (Down -15.6% since 2011)
  2. Medication mixes in dosage: $27.1 billion (Up 46.6%)
  3. Automobile parts/accessories: $23.3 billion (Up 18.1%)
  4. Miscellaneous aircraft, spacecraft (e.g. helicopters, launchers): $23.1 billion (Up 92%)
  5. Miscellaneous machinery: $12.4 billion (Up 29%)
  6. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $7.3 billion (Up 25%)
  7. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $7.1 billion (Up 10.8%)
  8. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $7 billion (Down -7.8%)
  9. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $6.97 (Up 29.4%)
  10. Piston engine parts: $6.87 (Down -20.2%)

Among the top product-specific trade balances, the fastest growers from 2011 to 2018 were: miscellaneous aircraft or spacecraft including helicopters (up 92%), medication mixes in dosage (up 46.6%) then lower-voltage switches or fuses (up 29.4%).

Positive trade balances for three top products declined in value, namely piston engine parts (down -20.2%), cars (down -15.6%) then transmission shafts, gears and clutches (down -7.8%).

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$131.2 billion for Germany in international trade during 2018. Germany has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Crude oil: -U$45 billion (Down -36.3% since 2011)
  2. Petroleum gases: -$22.7 billion (Down -36.6%)
  3. Heterocyclics, nucleic acids: -$12.3 billion (Up 536.8%)
  4. Processed petroleum oils: -$11.7 billion (Down -40.1%)
  5. Phone system devices including smartphones: -$10.9 billion (Up 114.9%)
  6. Computers, optical readers: -$9.1 billion (Up 9.3%)
  7. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: -$5.6 billion (Down -16.6%)
  8. Aluminum (unwrought): -$5 billion (Down -13.1%)
  9. Sulphonamides: -$4.43 billion (Up 25,605%)
  10. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: -$4.42 billion (Down -11.7%)

Germany’s red ink in global trade expanded for four of these top products: sulphonamides (up 25,605%), heterocyclics and nucleic acids (up 536.8%), phone system devices including smartphones (up 114.9%) then computers including optical readers (up 9.3%).

The three leading cutbacks from 2011 to 2018 among these top product deficits were -40.1% for processed petroleum oils, -36.6% for petroleum gases and -36.3% for crude oil.

Country+

In 2018, Germany generated a robust surplus subtotal worth $249.9 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. United States: US$57.8 billion (Up 69.2% since 2011)
  2. United Kingdom: $53.4 billion (Up 85.7%)
  3. France: $47.5 billion (Down -3.3%)
  4. Austria: $25.6 billion (Down -10.4%)
  5. Spain: $14 billion (Down -18.6%)
  6. Sweden: $12.3 billion (Up 12.8%)
  7. Italy: $11.4 billion (Down -41%)
  8. Poland: $9.6 billion (Down -37.6%)
  9. Switzerland: $9.56 billion (Down -34.6%)
  10. Denmark: $8.8 billion (Up 153.9%)

Expanding over the 7-year period were German trade surpluses with Denmark (up 153.9%), United Kingdom (up 85.7%), United States (up 69.2%) and Sweden (up 12.8%).

Germany’s positive net exports declined at the fastest pace with Italy (down -41%), Poland (down -37.6%), Switzerland (down -34.6%) and Spain (down -18.6%).

Country-

Germany experienced a losing international trade relationship with 66 countries, islands or territories. The following 10 trade partners created a -$55.3 billion deficit subtotal in 2018 from buying and selling exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$15.3 billion (Down -29.4% since 2011)
  2. Vietnam: -$6.7 billion (Up 129.8%)
  3. Bangladesh: -$5.9 billion (Up 57.7%)
  4. Netherlands: -$5.3 billion (Down -69.8%)
  5. Czech Republic: -$4.5 billion (Up 42.6%)
  6. Malaysia: -$4.47 billion (Up 78.6%)
  7. Japan: -$3.9 billion (Down -70.8%)
  8. Libya: -$3.7 billion (Up 59.7%)
  9. Taiwan: -$2.8 billion (Up 248.8%)
  10. Ireland: -$2.7 billion (Down -76.1%)

Germany’s country-specific trade deficits expanded for six of its top trade partners from 2011 to 2018 led by Taiwan (up 248.8%), Vietnam (up 129.8%), Malaysia (up 78.6%) and Libya (up 59.7%).

Germany trimmed the size of its negative trade balances with four top partners: Ireland (down -76.1%), Japan (down -70.8%), Netherlands (down -69.8%) and China (down -29.4%).




 

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

Research Sources:
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 24, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 24, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 24, 2019

Wikipedia, Economy of Germany. Accessed on February 24, 2019