Economy Germany

CEE trade with Germany slumped in 2023

| 2024-02-09 < 1 min read

CEE trade with Germany slumped in 2023

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Germany’s business with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) fell last year as the value of goods traded with the region’s 29 countries reduced by 6.5%, the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (CEEER) said on Wednesday, 7 February.

German imports from CEE and Central Asia fell 9.9%, to EUR 261bn, while exports were down by 3%, to EUR 274bn, the CEEER announced.

The main factors were the slump in trade with Russia and regional economic weakness, said the CEEER, which has grouped German business community umbrella organisations since 1952. Without the unprecedented 75% slump in trade with Russia, to EUR 12.6bn, trade with CEE would have remained flat, however.

Slovenia outstrips Russia as German trade partner

Russia fell behind Slovenia to 38th place among Germany’s trading partners, having been 14th in 2022. German exports to Russia fell 38.7%, to EUR 8.9bn, in the wake of further sanctions in response to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, while imports, once dominated by energy, fell by up to 90% to EUR 3.7bn.

“The 29 countries of CEE and Central Asia continue to account for over 18% of Germany’s total foreign trade – more than China and the US combined,” CEEER chairwoman Cathrina Claas-Muehlhaeuser said, adding that “trade with Eastern Europe, therefore, continues to be an important pillar of German exports”.

The ailing German economy will represent a challenge for CEE’s export-reliant countries, which have experienced runaway inflation rates since the COVID-19 pandemic.