China now Germany's largest trading partner

Fri 10 Mar 2017
Posted by: IOE&IT News
Trade News

jigsaw puzzle of German and Chinese flags

Data on Germany's total exports and imports indicate that China unseated the US as its largest trading partner last year. France also overtook the United States, moving into second and third place respectively.

German imports from and exports to China rose to 170 billion euros ($180 billion) last year. See the full report here.



The shift in rankings is primarily due to the level of Chinese exports to Germany, but German exports to China have also been increasing. Germany could soon export more to China than to its neighbour France - it already exports more to China than it does to Italy.

Whilst the US remains Germany’s top export destination, this is a position that might not last for long if the US president follows through on his threats. Last month, President Trump singled out BMW and said he would consider imposing punitive tariffs on the carmaker if it went ahead with plans to build some of the cars it sold in the US in Mexico. His top adviser on trade has also accused Germany of exploiting a weak euro to boost exports.

At the same time, Chinese president Xi Jinping detailed Beijing’s desire to “guide” the global economy, saying: “We should guide the international community to jointly build a more just and reasonable new world order."

In response to the shift, Germany's BGA trade association said: "Given the protectionist plans of the new US president one would expect that the trade ties between Germany and China will be further strengthened."