German exports to China declined significantly in February, dampening hopes of a trade revival following the end of strict coronavirus measures at the end of last year, the federal statistics office said on Tuesday.
Exports to China, Germany’s most important trade partner, decreased by 12.4% to 7.9 billion euros ($8.46 billion) compared with February last year, it said.
In January, exports to China were down 7.1% on the year.
German exporters had hoped for a stronger start to 2023 after pandemic restrictions that had closed factories and ports in the world’s second-largest economy were lifted in December.
However, experts see lots of catch-up potential in trade with China, whose economy could grow twice as fast this year as it did in 2022.
While goods worth around 298 billion euros were traded between the two countries last year, exports of German goods to China increased by only 3.1%, to around 107 billion euros.
Germany, on the other hand, imported goods worth 191 billion euros from China, a third more than in 2021.