Brexit causes UK to fall in importance among Germany's trade partners

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are seen ahead of their news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Brexit uncertainty continues to take its toll on the UK and its EU trading partners.

The UK is no longer one of Germany’s key trading partners, sliding further down the ranking to seventh-most important partner in terms of goods trade in the first seven months of this year.

In 2015, before the vote to leave the European Union, Britain was Germany’s fifth-largest trading partner, peaking at €89 billion (£78bn). However, German exports to the UK have been falling steadily since the Brexit referendum.

Germany’s Federal Statistics Office said today that the downward trend is persisting, and that the UK had slipped down one more spot since 2018, with combined exports and imports between the two amounting €68.5bn from January to July this year.

That balance breaks down as €47.1bn-worth of exports from Germany to the UK, while Germany bought goods worth €21.3bn from the UK. German exports to Great Britain dropped 4.6% compared to the same period last year, and imports from the UK fell by 3.7%.

The automotive industry has been particularly badly hit, according to the Statistics Office. Just under a quarter of the goods traded between the two countries were cars and car parts last year. This year Germany’s exports to the UK dropped by 9.7% in January to July, and auto imports fell 9.1%.

The latest figures place Great Britain after China, the Netherlands, the US, France, Italy, and Poland in terms of its trade importance to Germany.

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