Germany’s Top Commodity Imports & Exports: The Potatoe Figures Will Surprise You

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Source: WikiMedia Commons

Overview of the German Economy

As the third-largest export economy in the world, Germany exports more than $1.3 trillion and has a positive trade balance of $273 billion (after taking into account imports worth $1.05 trillion).

Germany’s total nominal GDP is 3.4 trillion, making it the fourth-largest economy worldwide and GDP per capita is $48,700.

The country is divided into 16 mainly autonomous states with each one having its own constitution. Germany is also a land that enjoys a high level of natural resources, mainly coal, copper, natural gas, nickel and uranium.

It is also one of the dominant manufacturers in the world of cars, boats and a number of electronic products.

Germany’s Top 5 Commodity Exports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Gold$5.2 billion
Wheat$1.93 billion
Petroleum Gas$5.7 billion
Silver$1.22 billion
Refined Petroleum$10.9 billion

Germany's Other Notable Exports

  • Cars – $150 billion
  • Vehicle Parts – $56.3 billion
  • Packaged Medicaments – $43.3 billion
  • Pig Meat – $4.35 billion

Cars represent 11.4% of Germany’s total exports.

Germany’s Top 5 Commodity Imports

CommodityAmount (Annually)
Crude Petroleum$28.7 billion
Gold$3.39 billion
Coffee$3.37 billion
Rapeseed$2.32 billion
Aluminum$4.71 billion

Germany's Other Notable Imports

  • Cars – $51.2 billion
  • Computers – $24.3 billion
  • Medical Instruments – $8.37 billion
  • Telephones – $9.05 billion
  • Integrated Circuits – $12.1 billion

Germany’s Top 5 Export Destinations

  1. United States – $119 billion
  2. France – $110 billion
  3. United Kingdom – $94.1 billion
  4. Netherlands – $86.8 billion
  5. China – $85.4 billion

Did you know? Germany is the 2nd biggest exporter of potatoes ($349 million), but it is also the 2nd largest importer ($268 million).

More Information on Germany's Imports/Exports


Germany is 12th in the global league table of gold exporters with annual exports of around $5.2 billion, which represents a 1.6% share of the world gold export markets. Switzerland is the leading country by some margin, controlling 25.3% of total gold exports.

The state of Germany’s economy can have a major bearing on gold bar and coin markets, as it is the third-largest market and prices tend to hold up well when Germany has a good economic outlook and low unemployment rates.


Germany is 7th in the global league table of wheat exporting countries and they have a 5.3% market share.

France has been able to outstrip Germany in quality wheat production during recent times. This is because although Germany is still the EU’s second-largest grower, poor growing conditions have meant Germany has been producing a greater amount of lower quality grain, which is then used for animal feed.

Petroleum Gas

The country is the 10th largest exporter of petroleum gas and its annual exports of $5.7 billion represent a 3.2% market share of the global petroleum gas market.

Only one major exporter of petroleum gas has increased the value of its exports in the last five years – the USA, who has managed to almost double its export output in that period.

By comparison, Germany has remained stable with its petroleum gas exports, whereas Russia has declined by 94% in the last five years.


Germany ranks sixth in the world with regard to silver exports, taking 7.4% of the global export market, with Mexico, the marginal market leader of silver exports, taking a 10% market share.

The value of worldwide silver exports has fallen by an average of 49% overall in the last five years, with the United States recording the widest deficit in that period, but Germany has largely maintained parity during that time.

Refined Petroleum

Austria and Switzerland are key export destinations for Germany’s refined petroleum, accounting for 42% of their annual output, closely followed by Poland and the Netherlands, who take 22% of Germany’s refined petroleum exports.

A Few Interesting Facts

  1. Germany is a major exporter of trunks and cases with an annual export value of $1.59 billion
  2. One-third of the country is covered in forests and woodlands
  3. Germany is one of the most densely populated countries in the world
  4. It shares its borders with nine other countries

All Figures based on OEC/IMF 2016 projections unless otherwise stated.

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