BERLIN, March 9 (Xinhua) -- German exports declined by 2.1 percent to 106.5 billion euros (121.7 billion euros) in January 2020, compared to the same month last year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Monday.
Imports in January decreased by 1.8 percent year-on-year to 92.7 billion euros, according to Destatis.
For the entire year 2019, German exports of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts decreased by 3.2 percent to 223.0 billion euros. However, automobile goods continued to be Germany's most important export category, followed by machinery and technical equipment as well as chemicals and chemical products.
In January, German exports to the European Union (EU) countries decreased by 2.2 percent while imports went down by 2.5 percent, according to Destatis.
Goods exported to Britain from Germany declined by 16.3 percent while British imports shot up by 14.5 percent in the last month before Britain left the EU on Jan. 31, 2020.
Germany's foreign trade balance recorded a surplus of 13.9 billion euros in January 2020 but was still below the 2019 level of 14.5 billion euros, Destatis noted.
The federation of German wholesale, foreign trade and services (BGA) noted on Monday that the global economy was facing a "multitude of challenges", such as trade disputes mainly driven by the United States, Brexit, the general economic slowdown and the current burden of the new coronavirus.
"We are in a situation in which we need political support even more urgently than before to mitigate the effects," said BGA President Holger Bingmann.