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Trade

Statistics: German firms only moderately dependant on Russia

Ten percent of German companies sell goods to Russia, but that trade makes up only a fraction of overall exports, underscoring a moderate dependency on the country currently entangled in western sanctions.

The dependency of German companies exporting goods to Russia was modest at best, Germany's Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, said Thursday.

Roughly 10 percent of German exporters, or some 27,000 firms, sell their products to Russia, according to latest Destatis figures. For nearly three-quarters of these companies, that trade amounted to no more than 25 percent of each firm's exports.

Destatis noted that Russia was undoubtedly a major trading partner of Germany, but added: "When put in relation to the worldwide trade relations of the German export sector the dependency of businesses on Russia is moderate".

German exports to Russia totaled around 36 billion euros ($49.5 billion) last year. Imports from Russia were higher with a volume worth about 41 billion euros. Overall, the value of exports to Russia represents 3.3 percent of Germany's total exports around the world.

Dependency

The degree to which German importers could be affected by fluctuations in that trade, however, particularly in the energy sector, is notably higher.

Fifty percent of all the goods imported to Germany from Russia are brought in by companies who depend on Russia for at least three-quarters of their overall imports, according to the statistics office. In all, roughly 1 percent of German companies import from Russia.

Economic Consequences of Crimea Crisis

Western countries, including the European Union and the United States, have imposed sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its recent deployment of troops into the Crimean peninsula and subsequent annexation last month. These have included travel bans and the freezing of bank accounts for a number of prominent Russians.

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been uncharacteristically candid in her condemnation of Russian actions in Ukraine, she has been reluctant to follow Washington's lead in imposing even stricter measures against Moscow, given Russia's vital deliveries of natural gas exports to Europe.

cjc,uhe/ipj (Reuters, dpa)

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