Germany’s trade surplus shrank for four consecutive months towards the end of 2021, as imports to Europe’s largest economy hit another record high.

New data from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, published today, show that the country’s trade surplus fell to €12 billion in November 2021, down from €16.8 billion a year earlier.

In total, Germany exported €125.7 billion of goods during November 2021, and imported €113.7 billion.

The imports total is a new record high for Germany, surpassing the previous record set in October 2021.

Much of Germany’s rise in imports was driven by increased purchases from its single largest trading partner, China.

In November 2021, Germany imported €14.1 billion of goods from China, which amounts to a 29.8% increase compared with November 2020.

Meanwhile, Germany’s exports to China dropped 4.2% during the same period to €8.9 billion.

Foreign Trade
Source: Federal Statistical Office

Germany-EU trade – up in exports, up more in imports 

Collectively, Germany’s largest trading partner by far is the bloc that makes up the European Union (EU).

In November 2021, Germany exported €67.9 billion of goods to the EU, while it imported €60.4 billion. 

Compared with November 2020, this represents a 14% increase in exports, and a 16.3% increase in imports.

Germany and US/UK trade – a mixed picture

In November 2021, Germany’s exports to the US increased by 14.7% to €11 billion year-on-year. 

Germany’s imports from the US also increased 7.9% to €6.3 billion during the same period.

Conversely, Germany’s exports to the UK dropped 4.9% to €6.1 billion in November 2021 compared with the previous year.

And its imports from the UK declined by 7.9% to €2.9 billion during the same period.