Southern German exports back to pre-crisis level

03 Mar 2022 11:25 Economy

According to the Bavarian Statistical Office, export of goods from Bavaria grew by 12.9 percent to 189.9 billion euros, 220 million euros higher than pre-crisis figures. In Baden-Wuerttemberg, the increase in exports is even more pronounced at 16.9 percent. The volume of imports also saw growth for Bavaria (+17.2 percent) and Baden-Wuerttemberg (+14.1 percent). Bavaria is responsible for handling around 700,000 standard containers (TEU) in the Port of Hamburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg for 340,000 TEU.

Last year's foreign trade figures show a welcome positive trend in southern Germany. With an increase above the pre-crisis level, all signs point to growth in this export-heavy economy. Nevertheless, the outlook is clouded. Disrupted supply chains and bottlenecks are slowing down companies, and the Ukraine-conflict will have a significant impact on exports. In addition, imports in Bavaria exceed exports for the third year in a row.

Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger issued a statement on the recently published economic figures: "The significant increase in exports above the level of the pre-crisis year 2019 is a ray of hope. The Bavarian economy has freed itself from the COVID-low". Nevertheless, the figures could not hide the fact that companies continue to struggle with uncertainties in the procurement of raw materials and intermediate products, the state minister said.

The positive development in Baden-Wuerttemberg last year was mainly driven by exports to the USA (+ 25.4 percent) and China (+ 15 percent), the state' s most important trading partners. At 62.8 percent, Europe accounted for the largest share of foreign trade. Here, a plus of 17.1 percent was recorded.

Motor vehicles, machinery and pharmaceuticals remain Baden-Wuerttemberg's top commodity exports. In terms of imports, China ranked first among the trading partners with a plus of 22.8 percent, the USA is in fourth place.

The most important individual market for goods "Made in Bavaria" last year were once again the United States with a total of 19.9 billion euros (+ 15.8 percent). This was followed by China with 17.6 billion euros (plus 12.7 percent) and Austria with 15.9 billion euros (plus 20.9 percent). Exports to the United Kingdom fell by 7.8 per cent year-on-year to 9.4 billion euros, contrary to the trend.

Imports to Bavaria also increased strongly in 2021 with a plus of 17.2 percent, reaching a new record value of 211.8 billion euros. The foreign trade deficit does not only worry the Minister of Economic Affairs. The Association of Bavarian Chambers of Industry and Commerce (BIHK) cites various reasons for Bavaria's continuing export weakness: In addition to the global situation, which has been tense for years due to trade policy, price increases for raw materials and intermediate products, the general shortage of materials and still pandemic-related disruptions in the supply chains are now proving to be a damper on Bavarian export companies. According to Manfred Gößl, Managing Director of the Bavarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BIHK), more and more production is taking place in the sales markets themselves, for example in China. Car exports from Bavaria continue to fall, while car imports are on the rise.

Southern German exports back to pre-crisis level

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