File photo: CGTN
BERLIN, June 9 (Xinhua) -- German exports plummeted by 31.1 percent to 75.7 billion euros (85.3 billion U.S. dollars) in April, compared to the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Tuesday.
This was the "largest decline of exports" in a year-on-year comparison since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950, Destatis noted. However, the degree to which exports were affected varied among Germany's trading partners.
Exports to China only declined moderately by 12.6 percent to 7.2 billion euros in April, while exports to Germany's neighboring country France which was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic dropped sharply by 48.3 percent.
Germany's "most important industrial sectors in particular are suffering from the weakness of exports," Juergen Matthes, head of the research unit for international economics and economic outlook at the German Economic Institute (IW), told Xinhua on Tuesday.
"The weakness of international markets is making the recovery in our industrial core even more difficult," added Matthes. In 2019, Germany's automotive industry, for example, generated almost two thirds of its sales abroad.
German imports in April also declined strongly, albeit not as hard as exports. Imports were down 21.6 percent year-on-year to 72.2 billion euros, according to Destatis. The last time German imports fell so sharply was during the financial crisis in July 2009.
According to Destatis, most imports to Germany in April came from China, with goods amounting to 9.4 billion euros, which was 10 percent more than last year. Imports to Germany from the United States rose by 2.4 percent to 5.9 billion euros. (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollars)