German exports to Russia in January were cut by a third. It’s the most drastic reduction since 2009
This article originally appeared at Kommersant. Translated for RI by Johanna Ganyukova
According to the German Federal Statistical Office, exports from Germany to Russia fell in January by 31.5% in comparison with the same period last year, amounting to €1.44 billion. It’s the biggest decrease since October 2009 after the global financial crisis and is deemed a result of western sanctions and a weak rouble.
Such a drastic decline in exports was not predicted by experts, as the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry had expected a reduction of no more than around 15%. Likewise, Russian exports to Germany were reduced by a third – a figure of €2.5 billion.
Nevertheless Germany ended 2014 with a record profit in foreign trade as their exports exceeded their imports by €216.9 billion. Their previous record was made in 2013 when profit reached a high of €195.3 billion.
Although Russia was Germany’s 13th largest export market in 2014, Germany was a main trading partner for Russia, being its second greatest importer after China. As for German exports to Russia – they reduced by 18% last year - hitting the German motor industry as the car remains one of the country’s main export goods. According to the Association of European Business, sales of cars and small commercial vehicles fell in Russia by 37.9% in February, with specific foreign brands noting a more dramatic decrease in sales: Opel – by 86%, Honda – by 90% and Peugeot – by 84%.