Whether it be clothes, footwear, toys or electronic products of all kinds – an ever increasing number of products on the German market come from China. According to provisional figures by the Federal Statistical Office, in 2006 already 6.7% of German imports amounting to 48.8 billion Euros were produced in China. Thus, China is Germany´s third most important importing countries after France and the Netherlands and is in this respect more important than the USA.
In 1996, Chinese goods amounted to just 2.6% of German imports (to a value of 9.2 billion Euros). Even though the German imports from China in 2006 consisted of almost the same classes of goods as in 1996, the share of high tech products has significantly increased.
Most important in 2006 with 21% of all imports from China were electronic products (radio, telecommunications and TV technology) as well as electronical components the import of which amounted to 10.4 billion Euros. This is an increase by 340 percent as compared to the year 2000. Chinese products in the meantime account for 23% of all German imports in this product group (in 1996: about 4%). With regard to mobile phones, 46% of all imports come from China.
Second most important group of imported products from China are data processing devices as well as office equipment (mostly computer and equipment), the imports of which increased by 500 percent in 2006 as compared to 1996 amounting to 9.8 billion Euros. The Chinese share of this product group imported to Germany was 31% in 2006 while it was just 3% ten years earlier.
Even though traditionally imported goods from China such as clothes, footwear or toys are not at the top of the list any more, their share also increased in the period from 2000 to 2006. With regard to clothes, imports doubled to 4.5 billion Euros by the year 2006, leather goods imports including footwear amounted to 1.9 billion Euros. With regard to furniture, jewelry, musical instruments, sports equipment and toys the imported volume on average increased by 89% to 3.9 billion Euros. With regard to the share of Chinese products in imported clothes, this amounted to 26% (2000: 12%) and to 29% in terms of leather goods (2000: 15%). The market share of Chinese toys was 60% of all toys imported to Germany, whereas it had just been 40% in 2000.
Still relatively small is the percentage of imports of motor vehicles and the components thereof. These amounted to 372.1 million Euros or 0.8% of all German imports from China in 2006 (2000: 80.9 million Euros).