German agriculture exports hit new record | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.08.2012
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German agriculture exports hit new record

German agricultural firms are exporting more produce than ever before. Shipments abroad have reached a new high, but results have been dampened by the ongoing debt crisis in much of the euro area.

Agricultural exports rose to record levels in the first half of 2012, the German Export Association for Food and Agriproducts (GEFA) reported on Friday.

German farmers sold products to the tune of 29.5 billion euros ($36.9 billion), which marked an increase of 1.8 percent from the same period last year.

Exports to nations outside the European Union rose by 13.3 percent to total a little over 7 million euros, with the most important markets for Germany being Russia, Switzerland and the United States. The biggest leaps in export volumes were recorded in Saudi Arabia and China.

Mixed picture

According to the GEFA, there were first signs of improvement in agricultural trade with the other 26 members of the European Union, which imported only 1.8 percent less produce from Germany than they had a year earlier.

"Germany has managed to focus more on emerging countries without letting core markets in Europe fall by the wayside," GEFA Spokesman Willi Meier said in a statement. "This has proven to be the right path in the current tense situation on the market."

Within Europe, the steepest drops in exports were logged in Greece, Italy and Portugal, some of the nations hit hardest by the debt crisis. Surprisingly, there was no lull in the trade with Spain.

hg/mkg (AFP, dpa)