global trade

German exports tick up in October 2020 on China rebound

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
German exports tick up in October 2020 on China rebound

TRADE. The aerial view shows containers at the harbor of Duisburg, Germany, on May 8, 2020.

File photo by Ina Fassbender/AFP

Germany's trade data continues to reflect how other countries are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

Germany’s exports rose for the 6th straight month in October, albeit at a slower pace, official data showed on Wednesday, December 9, with China’s demand up from 2019 levels while that of the European Union and the United States stayed negative.

Exports ticked up 0.8% month-on-month after a 2.3% rise in September, federal statistics agency Destatis said in seasonally-adjusted figures.

Imports also increased slightly, by 0.3%.

Germany shipped goods abroad worth 112 billion euros ($136 billion) and imported goods worth 92.7 billion euros.

Six months of rising exports have followed a plunge in activity in March and April, when Germany  ordered factories and businesses shut to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany’s international trade is still short of its pre-crisis level, with exports 6.8% lower than February 2020 and imports down 5.2%.

October’s exports also lag 6.5% behind the figure for the same month last year.

But trade data continues to reflect how other countries are dealing with the pandemic.

Exports to China rose 0.3% year-on-year, while exports to the United States, which remained in the grip of record-high case rates, were down 10.5%. Exports to Britain declined 11.7% year-on-year. 

Compared to October 2019, exports to the European Union, Germany’s largest market, fell 5.1% and imports were down 2.9%.

The German economy strongly rebounded in the 3rd quarter – growing 8.5% after contracting 9.8% in the spring.

But with coronavirus infections staying high, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday demanded tougher curbs including new shop closures to battle the pandemic into January. If the measures are implemented by the regional leaders of Germany’s 16 states, domestic demand could once again be hit.

“Despite the October slowing, the export sector remains one of the few hopes of the German economy to avoid a significant contraction in the 4th quarter,” said ING economist Carsten Brzeski. – Rappler.com