German exports to China fell in January despite the lifting of the lockdown

Data from the Federal Statistics Agency on Tuesday showed German exporters’ hopes of a rebound in trade with China after Beijing’s abrupt dismantling of its strict “zero COVID” policy in December have eased to the start of the year.

Exports to China fell 7.1% in January compared to the same month last year, to 7.4 billion euros ($7.90 billion).

By comparison, exports to the US rose 20.8% to €12 billion, with the world’s largest economy retaining its position as a major buyer of German-made goods.

After three years of tight pandemic restrictions in China, which saw factories and ports shut down in the world’s second-largest economy, German exporters were hoping for a stronger start to 2023 with the country’s main trading partner.

While 298 billion euros worth of goods were traded between the two countries last year, German goods exports to China increased by just 3.1%, to about 107 billion euros.

On the other hand, Germany imported 191 billion euros worth of goods from China, an increase of one third from what it was in 2021.

In total, Germany had a trade deficit with China of about 84 billion euros in 2022, a situation German Finance Minister Christian Lindner called a “dangerous development”.

($1 = 0.9369 euros)

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