The foreign trade balance showed a surplus of 188.1 billion euros in 2012, which is the second largest surplus since the introduction of foreign trade statistics in 1950. In 2011, the surplus of the foreign trade balance had been 158.7 billion euros. The largest surplus to date of 195.3 billion euros was recorded in 2007.
In 2012, Germany dispatched commodities to the value of 625.7 billion euros to the Member States of the European Union (EU), while it received commodities to the value of 577.1 billion euros from those countries. Compared with 2011, dispatches to the EU countries decreased by 0.3 percent, while arrivals from those countries increased by 0.9 percent.
Exports of commodities to countries outside the European Union (third countries) amounted to Euro 471.7 billion euros in 2012, while imports from those countries totalled 332.1 billion euros. Compared with 2011, exports to third countries increased by 8.8 percent and imports from those countries by 0.4 percent.
In December 2012, Germany exported commodities to the value of 79.0 billion euros (–6.9 percent on December 2011) and imported commodities to the value of 67.0 billion euros (–7.3 percent).