Europe’s largest economy exported 126.4 billion euros in April, the Federal Statistics Office Destatis said in a statement. Over one year, the increase is 12.9%.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected a 1.0% rise over one month, after a 3% drop in March, a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“German exports defied further difficulties in supply chains and the economic impact of the war in Ukraine,” commented Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING bank.

This “unexpected rebound alleviates fears of an economic contraction in the second quarter”, he adds, while Germany escaped recession with a 0.2% increase in GDP in the first quarter.

The export sector, vital for the German economy but also dependent on imports of spare parts from China, is however facing “headwinds”, including rising commodity prices, notes the expert.

Imports reached 122.8 billion euros, up 28.1% compared to April 2021 and 3.1% over one month, also due to rising prices, while economists forecast a drop of 2 %.

Sales to Russia fell 10% to 0.8 billion euros, after falling more than 60% in March, while imports – including fossil fuels – fell 16.4% to 3.7 billion euros, specifies Destatis.

Germany saw an increase in trade with the countries of the European Union, by 4.2% on the export side and by 2.4% for imports.

Exports to third countries increased by 4.7%, and Germany imported 63 billion euros worth of goods from outside the EU, up 3.8%.

China is the main country of origin of foreign goods, with 18.4 billion euros of imports in April, 12.3% more than in March.

The United States is the first foreign market for German companies with 12.6 billion euros in exports.