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Business

German half-year exports drop as euro crisis lingers on

Statisticians have reported that Germany's exports to nations around the globe have dipped by over half a percentage point in the first six months of the year as the eurozone crisis continued to take its toll.

Overall German exports dropped by 0.6 percent to 547.4 billion euros ($720.7 billion) in the first half of 2013, the National Statistics Office, Destatis, announced Wednesday.

Total shipments to the 27 fellow EU member countries decreased by 1.7 percent over the same period, while exports to the smaller 17-member debt-stricken eurozone tumbled by 2.9 percent between January and June, with shipments to Italy dipping by well over six percent.

Poland managed to replace Russia as Germany's most important trade partner in eastern Europe. Exports to Germany's neighbor increased by over 6 percent to total 38.3 billion euros.

Russia disappoints

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Germany's fast-moving exporters

The Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (OA) representing German companies' interests in the region said the change occurred despite Russia's joining the World Trade Organization.

"Our expectations linked to Russia's WTO membership and a lowering of import duties have not been met so far," OA chief Eckhard Cordes said in a statement in Berlin.

Destatis reported that German shipments to countries outside the EU rose by 1 percent, with shipments to Turkey experiencing a hefty 14.5-percent increase in the first six months.

Overall, German imports over the same period dropped by 1.7 percent, the office said, with the value of goods brought into the country put at 449.5 billion euros.

hg/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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