German exports to Russia fall to their lowest level in two decades

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BERLINJan 24 – German exports to Russia fell last year to levels not seen since 2003, according to data seen by Reuters, as sanctions against Moscow over the war in Ukraine dented previously close ties.

German exports to Russia fell 45% on-year to 14.6 billion euros ($15.9 billion) in 2022, according to preliminary data from the German Committee for Economic Relations with Eastern Europe.

Imports from Russia, however, grew 11% to around 37 billion euros due to high oil and gas prices, the group said in its report.

Germany’s trade deficit with Russia reached a record 22 billion euros, according to Michael Harms, director general of the Committee.

The slump in exports to Russia was most visible in motor vehicles and auto parts, as well as electrical engineering products, Harms added, while pharmaceuticals and agricultural machinery, sectors excluded from European Union sanctions, they continued to be the most exported.

“The outlook for the export business with Russia remains bleak,” Harms said, adding that exports of goods to Russia were likely to be low in 2023.

Harms expects the trade deficit to narrow significantly now that Germany imports almost no energy raw materials from Russia.

(1 dollar = 0.9202 euros)

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