Germany on Friday said China remains its most important trading partner for the fourth year in a row in 2019, according to government data released.
Goods valuing 205.7 billion euros (or 231 billion dollars) were traded between the two countries in 2019, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported, citing provisional results.
The ranking only backs up economists’ warnings that the global coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China and forced it to introduce draconian quarantine measures and scale back industry, would eventually affect Europe’s biggest economy.
According to Destatis, Germany imported goods worth 109.7 billion euros from China in 2019, a 3.4-per cent increase compared to 2018.
China was also an important market for goods made in Germany, with German exports to the country in 2019 amounting to 96 billion euros.
The U.S. maintained its position as a top importer for Germany, with imports valuing 118.7 billion euros, in spite President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance on international trade.
France was Germany’s second most important importer, buying goods worth 106.8 billion euros, followed by China.
Germany’s all-important automotive industry is heavily reliant on China, both as a market for cars and as an integral part of the manufacturing chain.
According to a Deutsche Bank study released on Friday, the Asian powerhouse will continue to act as Germany’s most important country for vehicle production.
In 2019, German carmakers produced more models in China than in Germany, at 5.08 million units compared to 4.67 million.
However, describing the coronavirus pandemic as a temporary external shock, the lender’s study said the risk to China’s role in producing German cars was not under threat.