That dollar amount results from a 6.4% upturn from $1.557 trillion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of goods exported from Germany gained 1.5% compared to $1.631 trillion for 2021.
Russia is Germany’s 23rd biggest customer purchasing 1.1% of worldwide German exports during 2022, shrinking from 1.9% for 2021. In contrast, Ukraine bought a tinier 0.3% of Germany’s worldwide shipments by value placing Ukraine among Germany’s 50 leading import partner by value.
Applying a continental lens, about two-thirds (66.4%) of Germany’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries. Another 17.6% was sold to Asian importers, with 11.9% worth of goods sent to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (1.7%), Latin America (1.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.9%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Germany’s Top 25 Trading Partners
Below is a ranked list showcasing 25 of Germany’s top trading partners. That is, countries that imported the most German shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total German exports.
- United States: US$163.8 billion (9.9% of Germany’s total exports)
- France: $121.7 billion (7.3%)
- Netherlands: $113.9 billion (6.9%)
- China: $112.6 billion (6.8%)
- Poland: $94.9 billion (5.7%)
- Italy: $92 billion (5.6%)
- Austria: $86.6 billion (5.2%)
- United Kingdom: $77.2 billion (4.7%)
- Switzerland: $75 billion (4.5%)
- Belgium: $64.3 billion (3.9%)
- Czech Republic: $55.2 billion (3.3%)
- Spain: $51.4 billion (3.1%)
- Hungary: $33.5 billion (2%)
- Sweden: $30.7 billion (1.9%)
- Türkiye: $28.3 billion (1.7%)
- Denmark: $24.3 billion (1.5%)
- South Korea: $22.7 billion (1.4%)
- Japan: $21.6 billion (1.3%)
- Romania: $21 billion (1.3%)
- Slovakia: $17.6 billion (1.1%)
- Mexico: $17.2 billion (1%)
- India: $15.7 billion (0.9%)
- Russia: $15.5 billion (0.9%)
- Brazil: $13.5 billion (0.8%)
- Canada: $13.4 billion (0.8%)
Well over four-fifths (83.5%) of German exports in 2022 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
The fastest growers in terms of buying exported goods from Germany were: United States of America (up 13.6% from 2021), Canada (up 12.8%), Türkiye (up 12.4%), Mexico (up 10%) and Brazil (up 9.2%).
Posting the severest declines in buying exported goods from Germany were Russia (down -50.6% from 2021) and mainland China (down -8.2%).
Trading Partners Causing the Greatest German Deficits
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Germany incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- mainland China: -US$88.3 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Ireland: -$18.4 billion
- Russia: -$14.7 billion
- Vietnam: -$11.7 billion
- Bangladesh: -$9.5 billion
- Malaysia: -$6.5 billion
- Taiwan: -$6.1 billion
- Czech Republic: -$5.4 billion
- Netherlands: -$5.2 billion
- Japan: -$4.9 billion
Among Germany’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, German deficits with mainland China (up 91.4%), Taiwan (up 80.2%) and Vietnam (up 43.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Germany went from posting multibillion dollar surpluses with Russia and the Netherlands in 2021 to incurring the trade deficits listed above for 2022.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Germany’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Germany to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Trading Partners Generating the Greatest German Surpluses
Germany’s overall trade surplus shriveled by -59.4% to $84.6 billion for 2022 from $208.3 billion in black ink during 2021.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Germany incurred the highest trade surpluses at the expense of the following major trading partners.
- United States: US$67.5 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- France: $48.3 billion
- United Kingdom: $37.8 billion
- Austria: $31.4 billion
- Switzerland: $16 billion
- Italy: $15.9 billion
- Poland: $13.7 billion
- Spain: $12 billion
- Sweden: $11.1 billion
- South Korea: $8.9 billion
Among Germany’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, German surpluses with Italy (up 35.8%), South Korea (up 23.4%) and Poland (up 21.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Germany’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Germany to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Major German Companies Servicing Trading Partners
Over fifty German corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of major German export companies.
- Adidas (apparel/accessories)
- Allianz (diversified insurance)
- BASF (diversified chemicals)
- Bayer (diversified chemicals)
- BMW Group (cars, trucks)
- Continental (automotive parts)
- Daimler (cars, trucks)
- Fresenius (medical equipment, supplies)
- Heidelberg Cement (construction materials)
- Henkel (household/personal care items)
- Linde (diversified chemicals)
- Merck (pharmaceuticals)
- Siemens (conglomerate, engineering)
- Volkswagen Group (cars, trucks)
According to IMPORTERS.com listings for German suppliers, the following are also examples of companies that ship products from Germany to its trading partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis are products that the German business provides.
- 7Trade (mobile phones)
- Euro Car Export Ltd (vehicles)
- Flaskamp GmbH (liquid soap, washing powder)
- IMarketing Skirde Ltd (sports bags, garments)
- Kareva Marketing GmbH (calcium chloride, other drilling chemicals)
- Kgz Ersatzteile (diesel fuel lift pumps)
- Merbstrade (crude oil)
- Origiparts GmbH & Co. KG (engines, electrical parts)
- Tieig Industrial Group (industrial adhesives)
- Weser Apotheke (pharmaceuticals)
See also Germany’s Top 10 Imports, Germany’s Top 10 Exports, Top German Trade Balances and Germany’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on April 1, 2023
Forbes, Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 1, 2023
IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Germany Import Export Directory. Accessed on April 1, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 1, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 1, 2023