The eurozone is increasingly losing its appeal as a major market for German goods. Exports to the euro area and the European Union as a whole have gone down for the past 20 years as emerging markets come into focus.
In 2011, only 39.7 percent of all German exports went to the 17-nation eurozone. It was the lowest level recorded in the past 20 years, the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) announced on Wednesday.
Back in 1991, German exports to what later became the euro area still amounted to 50 percent of the country's overall good flows abroad.
German exports to the whole of the 27-nation European Union accounted for 59.2 percent in 2011, but also marked a 20-year low.
Emerging countries in focus
"As globalization continues to take shape, traditional trading partners such as EU member countries or the United States are losing their erstwhile importance," Destatis said in a statement. "New markets are being opened up instead as more and more nations assume an active role in global trading activities."
Apart from the repercussions of the unresolved eurozone debt crisis, the Federal Statistics Office pointed to the mounting importance of emerging economies for German producers. Exports to China for instance reached 6.1 percent last year, up from just 3.1 percent in 2007. For individual German companies such as carmakers Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, China already is the most important export market.
All the other BRIC states have also been gaining in importance. In 2011, Germany shipped 3.2 percent of overall exports to Russia, 1.1 percent to Brazil and 1.0 percent to India.
hg/ (dpa, Reuters)