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Export markets of German machinery industry 2008 - 2020 Q1

Machine exports to the US peak in first quarter 2020

Symbol picture trade war

This report completes the analysis of the structure of machine exports from Germany “The shift back in the export markets has been accomplished since 2017”. Against this backdrop this analysis highlights the current quarterly development of the worldwide machine exports from Germany.

Update June 8th, 2020 - 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 first quarter 2020. The exit of Great Britain from the EU apart the export share of machines from Germany to the EU would have reached 491%. Without Great Britain the export share dropped to 45%. The machine exports to the BRIC countries mact with 15% the same level as ahead of the crisis.

Export shares of German machines to EU, BRIC, MIST countries and the US and Japan from 2008 to 2020.

The export share of machinery to the USA and Japan reached 13%, the highest level since the global economic crisis of 2008, and the export share to Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey (MIST countries) rose slightly to 16%.

Machine exports to the US peak, to China further declining

Each of the three countries China, USA and Russia take 5% or more of the machine exports from Germany. So these countries are outside the EU the most important export markets.


Since 2015, the export quota for machines to the USA has again exceeded that to China. In the first quarter of 2020, machinery exports reached their highest level since 2008 at 11.7%.


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 quarter 2020, the export ratio of German machines to Russia reached 3.1% as last in 2017.

Export shares of German machines to China, Russia, the US from 2008 to 2020.

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 2020.

Exports to these seven countries, each with export shares of less than 5%, accounted for 9.5% in 2019. In the first quarter of 2020 this figure rises slightly to 9.6%.

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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