Germany losing Russian markets

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German exports to Russia declined considerably in May 2023, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) released on Thursday.

Exports fell by 36.7% to €700 million ($760 million), according to the figures. Russia fell to 16th rank among Germany’s top non-EU export partners (third nations). Prior to the conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent EU sanctions on Moscow in February 2022, Russia ranked fifth.

Germany’s overall exports to third countries increased by 1% in May compared to the previous month, totaling €59.4 billion. However, shipments were down 2.3% from May of last year. According to the German Economy Ministry, the country’s “export-oriented economy is particularly suffering from the still weak global economy.” Last month, the United States remained Germany’s greatest export partner, importing €12.5 billion in German goods.

Since February of last year, trade transaction between Russia and EU members has been steadily declining, owing mostly to sanctions imposed on Moscow. According to Ruslan Davydov, acting head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, “the EU has lost its status as Russia’s key trading partner,” with the EU’s proportion of the country’s international commerce falling from 38% two years ago to 17.6% in 2023.

Destatis previously reported that Germany’s imports from Russia plummeted by more than 90% in the last 16 months, owing mostly to a decrease in Russian energy supply. Germany imported €300 million in Russian items in February 2023, down from €3.7 billion the previous year.