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Export markets of German machinery industry 2008 - 2021 H1

Machine exports rising in first half of 2021 to the EU and declining to the MIST countries

Symbol picture trade war

This report completes the analysis of the structure of machine exports from Germany 2008 to 2020 “Machine exports 2020 rising to BRIC and MIST, declining to EU”. Against this backdrop this analysis highlights the current semiannual development of the worldwide machine exports from Germany.

Update October 13th, 2021 - In the wake of the world economic crisis export markets of the German machinery industry turned particularly to China and also to other developing countries while export shares to the former favored countries EU and the US clearly dropped.

Since 2014 export markets have been shifting back favoring those export countries that had prevailed before the world economic crisis: the EU and the USA. This shift back accomplished in 2017 and has been determining export structure since then.


This development continued essentially in the first half of 2021. Without the exit of UK from the EU the export share of machines from Germany to the EU would have increased from 49% to 50%. Without UK, however, the export share dropped to 45%. The machine exports to the MIST countries decline to 5% compared to 6% in 2020.

Export shares of German machines to EU, BRIC, MIST countries and the US and Japan from 2008 to 2021.

The export shares of machinery to the BRIC countries (16%) and the USA and Japan (12%) have remained constant since 2018.

Machinery exports to the USA and China almost on par since 2020

Since 2020, the export shares for machines to the USA (10.8%) and China (10.7%) have been almost at the same level in the first half of 2021 as they were in 2020.


Following the global economic crisis, machinery exports to Russia rose to over 5% in 2012. As a consequence of the sanctions machinery exports have been declining since 2014 reaching the lowest level since 2008 at 2.8% in 2018. In the first half of 2021, the export share of German machines to Russia reached 3.1% as last in 2020 and 2017.

Export shares of German machines to China, Russia, the US from 2008 to 2021.

Machine exports to countries with smaller export ratio slightly rising

Each of the MIST countries Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey take less than 5% of the machine exports from Germany. That is also true for Brazil and India belonging to the BRIC countries. Finally a small portion of machine exports from Germany is taken by Japan.

Export shares of German machines to Turkey, Brazil, Japan, India from 2008 to 2021.

Exports to these seven countries, each with export shares of less than 5%, accounted for 9.5% in 2019 and 2020. In the first half of 2021 this figure decreases to 9.0%.

Machine exports from Germany are often lagging behind the export countries' industrial production

A separate report shows that machine exports from Germany are often lagging behind the industrial production of the related export countries.

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