Reuters: The United States replaces China as Germany\’s largest trading partner in Q1

According to data calculated by Reuters based on official data from the German Statistics Office, in the first quarter of this year, the United States surpassed China and became Germany\’s most important trading partner.

According to data calculated by Reuters based on official data from the German Statistics Office, the United States surpassed China to become Germany\’s most important trading partner in the first quarter of this year.
Data showed Germany\’s trade volume with the United States (exports and imports combined) totaled 63 billion euros ($68 billion) from January to March, while China\’s trade volume was just under 60 billion euros.
In 2023, China became Germany\’s largest trading partner for the eighth consecutive year, with a trade volume of 253 billion euros, but it was only a few hundred million euros ahead of the United States.
Explaining the changes in the first quarter, Commerzbank economist Vincent Stamer said the results were driven by a strong U.S. economy, with German exports to the U.S. now growing further while both exports and imports to China fell.
He said structural reasons were also a factor.
\”China has moved up the value chain ladder and is producing more of its own more sophisticated goods that it used to import from Germany,\” Stamer said.
\”In addition, German companies are increasingly producing locally rather than exporting goods from Germany to China.
Germany has said it wants to reduce investment in China, citing political differences and accused Beijing of \”unfair practices\” in its China strategy statement first released last year. But Berlin has been vague on policy measures to reduce dependence.
Juergen Matthes of the German economic institute IW said Germany\’s imports of goods from China fell by nearly 12% year-on-year in the first quarter while exports of goods to China fell by just over 1%.
\”The fact that China\’s economy is performing worse than many expected while the U.S. economy is beating expectations may be contributing to this,\” Matthes said.
” He added that as the German economic model faces clear global economic headwinds, a geopolitically motivated reorientation appears to be taking place—away from system rival China and toward transatlantic partner the United States.
But it\’s unclear whether this will continue.
Dirk Jandura, president of the BGA trade association, said: “This process could stall if the White House administration changes after the US election in November and takes more steps to close the market.

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