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German exports to Russia tumble as sanctions bite

Fresh data have revealed that Germany's exports to Russia experienced a steep fall in recent months as sanctions over the Ukraine conflict kept biting both ways. Machinery shipments were hit hardest.

German companies exported goods worth 2.3 billion euros ($2.9 billion) to Russia in August, the National Statistics Office (Destatis) said Wednesday, referring to preliminary calculations.

The figure translated into a staggering 26.3-percent drop from levels reached in the same month a year earlier.

Looking at the first eight months of 2014, German exports to Russia totaled 20.3 billion euros, marking a 16.6-percent dip year-on-year.

Downward spiral

German shipments to Russia were already on the weak side throughout 2013, following earlier bumper years. In 2011 for instance, exports to Russia saw a 30.8-percent surge from a year earlier.

Destatis added that German automotive parts and machinery were most affected by the decline in shipments this year as sanctions and counter-sanctions worsened the stand-off between the West and Moscow over the latter's role in the Ukraine conflict.

The statistics office noted that Russia was now Germany's 13th-largest export partner, down two rungs since 2013.

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