German trade of raw materials, products sees strongest decline since 2009

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BERLIN, March 26 (Xinhua) — German imports of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products declined by 5.8 percent year-on-year to 622 million tons in 2020, according to preliminary figures published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Friday.

Exports fell similarly by 5.6 percent and were down to 405 million tons in 2020. Both imports and exports recorded the “strongest year-on-year decline since 2009,” Destatis noted.

Imports of raw materials such as fossil energy sources fell by 5.7 percent to 339 million metric tons. As raw materials accounted for more than half of total German material imports, the decline was “particularly significant in the overall development of material imports,” according to Destatis.

Exports of German products even declined by 7.1 percent compared to the previous year. German goods produced primarily from ores, such as cars, were particularly affected by the pandemic and even fell by 13.3 percent in 2020, according to the figures.

The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were still clearly noticeable for the automotive trade in 2021 and would be further intensified by the recently tightened lockdown, the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (VDIK) warned earlier this week.

Economically, the lockdown could be “devastating because the spring business, which is so immensely important for the car industry, will once again be severely restricted, as it was in 2020,” said Reinhard Zirpel, president of the VDIK. Enditem

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