Facts and figures on German agricultural exports
The German agricultural and food industries are well positioned internationally: Worldwide, Germany has for many years been the third largest overall exporter of agricultural goods and the No. 1 exporter of confectionery, cheese, pork and agricultural technology.
German agricultural exports continued to develop positively in 2015 and reached a new peak: According to preliminary figures, they have risen by about three percent to EUR 65.4 billion. If account is taken of subsequent reporting and additional estimations, an annual result of approx. EUR 68.5 billion can be expected for 2015 (final figures are due in autumn 2016). Added to this are the exports of agricultural technology that have not been included. Here, too, "made in Germany" was in demand in 2015: Preliminary data suggest that this sector alone accounted for exports in the order of around EUR 7.4 billion. With the sole exception of 2009, when the global economic and financial crisis left its mark on agricultural trade, the value of German agricultural exports has grown continually since 1993.
EU remains the most important sales market
With three quarters of all exports, the EU remained the most important sales market for German agricultural goods in 2015. Sixty-seven percent of imports also came from the other 27 EU Member States. In the trade with EU partners, exports rose by around two percent to EUR 49.2 billion. While trade with the United Kingdom, Poland and the Netherlands recorded the highest absolute growth rates, exports to Italy, followed at some distance by exports to Greece and Lithuania, saw the greatest absolute falls.
Our direct neighbour, the Netherlands, remained by far the most important country of origin and country of destination in agricultural trade: the Netherlands accounted for around 27 percent of German agricultural imports from the EU and for around 17 percent of German exports (EUR 8.6 billion) within the EU. As in previous years, France (EUR 5.7 billion) and Italy (EUR 5.2 billion) followed as the next most important markets for German agricultural goods, making up 12 and 11 percent respectively of intra-Community exports. Germany recorded the highest positive balance in agricultural trade with the United Kingdom (plus EUR 3.2 billion).
Dynamic development in trade with third countries
In spite of the Russian government's import ban on certain products and the associated steep drop in exports to Russia to EUR 0.9 billion in 2015 (2011: EUR 1.9 billion), exports to third countries developed more dynamically than those to the EU Member States, recording a rate of growth of six percent. This testifies to a high degree of regional differentiation in German exports. This development was also aided by the weak euro exchange rate.
In 2015, the most important non-EU target countries included Switzerland (EUR 1.8 billion), followed by the USA (EUR 1.7 billion). Exports to Saudi-Arabia (plus 57 percent) and to the People's Republic of China (plus 45 percent) saw particularly high growth rates. With just under EUR 1.4 billion, they ranked third and fourth respectively among third countries. German exports of meat and meat products to the People's Republic of China also increased strongly with a 108 percent growth to EUR 540 million.
Made in Germany stands for innovation, quality and safety
Made in Germany stands for innovation, quality and safety with respect to foodstuffs. The renowned high level of quality of German products, which is increasingly being complemented by the introduction of quality assurance systems across all stages, provides a good basis for further export successes.
The German food industry is particularly strong and competitive on foreign markets with regard to high-quality processed products (with high value-added).
The German agricultural sector now earns over 25 percent of its sales revenue and thus one out of four euros from the exportation of agricultural products. According to industry figures, this share even exceeds 30 percent for the German food industry.
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