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German import and export figures

Export (also export ; Latin ex , “from, out” and Latin portare , “carry, bring”; “bring out”) in foreign trade is the cross-border sale of goods or services from home to abroad . The opposite is the import .


Basic forms of foreign trade are merchanting , import and export, whereby in the case of export, the flow of goods flows from Germany to abroad and the payment flows from abroad to Germany. The exporting economic agents ( companies , private households , the state with its subdivisions such as public administration and state-owned companies ) are called exporters and have a trade relationship with the foreign importer . When exporting is provided that the exporter to the importer because of the terms of delivery the goods / services (hereinafter goods) Delivery to property transfers ( retention of title does not hurt) and the importer due to the terms of payment to the exporter the purchase price paid ( supplier credit / customer credit does not hurt ). The goods must be delivered abroad, although these are also exports in the same currency area (e.g. Germany / France). Exports only exist in the event of a complete transfer of ownership, so that renting , lending , leasing or leasing represent an export of services at best.

The export goods primarily include raw materials , trading goods ( e.g. commodities ) or capital goods ( machines ). In the case of services, tourism is considered an export if, for example, a foreigner goes on holiday to Germany. The export of book money and capital is called the export of capital .

economic aspects

With regard to the processing stage, there are exports of raw materials or semi-finished products in the production economy for the purpose of further processing abroad or exports of finished products in trade ( wholesale or retail ). Exports place in the context of foreign trade financing instead because the exporter in advance payments ( advance ) payment to train train against delivery or existing credit terms to deliver the goods before or after payment while credit institutions must employ. Foreign trade finance supports this through export credit , document collection or international transfers . The export value is determined in accordance with international customs at the national border, based on the FOB value .

An export becomes necessary if there is foreign demand, if the importing country does not produce the goods itself or in insufficient quantities or if the product quality / service quality or the prices are less favorable than in the case of domestic production ( comparative cost advantage ). In the importing state, export supplements the lack of goods on offer . Exports can therefore compensate for an undersupply , quality defects or price disadvantages in the importing country . Export- heavy states can expect that import-heavy states try to shift the external contribution in favor of their export quota with the help of an import substitution policy .

The export affects the trade balance , where it is posted on the assets side . If a country exports more than it imports, there is accordingly an “active trade balance”. The importer's payment is included in the foreign exchange balance as an incoming payment . It solves either payment in foreign currency , a foreign exchange supply on the foreign exchange market or in payment in local currency , a money supply in the money market from. A payment in foreign currency leads to an inflow of foreign currency , so that with a high export quota an existing trade deficit can turn into a trade balance surplus , which in the medium term can lead to an appreciation of the domestic currency. A foreign exchange surplus, in turn, allows an increase in future imports. The desired balance of foreign trade is only achieved when exports and imports are the same in one country:


Accordingly, there is an export surplus as


An export surplus leads to an active trade balance with foreign exchange inflows that improve currency reserves and increase national income .

The export also causes an increase in the supply of goods on the importing goods market. Since the domestic money supply increases at the same time as the payment for exports, exports lead to an imbalance in money and goods markets, which can lead to inflation .

Legal issues

The foreign trade law known as legal concepts to imports and exports. "Exporter" (exporter) is any natural or legal person or partnership that determines the delivery of goods from within Germany to a third country in accordance with Section 2 (2) AWG . Accordingly, export is the delivery of goods from within Germany to a third country (Section 2 (3) AWG). The transfer of software or technology including its provision by electronic means is equivalent to export . Even electricity is considered as a commodity, securities and cash , however, are not goods (§ 2 para. 22 AWG).


The state has an interest in controlling exports and imports (protecting domestic markets from dumping , for example, and arms trade ). In the case of exports, market regulation consists of export declarations , export permits , export lists or export duties . A trade embargo can restrict exports in whole or in part. They all have a restrictive effect on export and limit it quantitatively and / or qualitatively. The theory of regulation, written by George Stigler in 1971, suggests that these trade barriers as a form of regulation - regardless of whether they are of a tariff or non-tariff nature - will be introduced and maintained by the importing country. While tariff trade barriers were increasingly dismantled in the past by the provisions of GATT and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the importance of non-tariff trade barriers has grown.

Classification in the national accounts

The export represents an aggregate of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the distribution statement of the national accounts is (VGR). It consists of the goods and services exports ( services account together). The trade balance and the services balance are partial balances of the current account .

If you subtract the imports from the exports, you get the external contribution (also known as net export ). An external contribution greater than zero means that part of the exports abroad are not paid for from abroad in the form of imports from abroad. The net export must therefore take place on credit, so that a net export corresponds to an export of capital if the adjustment is not made via another sub-balance of the balance of payments . The Federal Republic of Germany and China , for example, regularly record positive external contributions, so that the (net) claims of the Federal Republic of Germany on the rest of the world are growing steadily. The USA, on the other hand, has generally had negative external contributions for decades, so that the USA's (net) liabilities to other countries are constantly increasing.

International comparison

Exports and export surpluses in relation to GDP

The figure shows exports in relation to the respective gross domestic product (GDP) for the triad countries , i.e. the three largest economies in the world , as well as net exports in relation to GDP. Rising export quotas indicate a world economy that is increasingly based on the division of labor, the interdependence of trade in the world is increasing ( globalization ). In Germany in particular, there is an intense debate about the importance of German export growth under the buzzwords export world champion and bazaar economy .

Related terms

An export country is a country that produces to a significant extent for export (like the Federal Republic of Germany). As world exports is called the value of all economies worldwide exported goods. World exports and world imports must be the same by definition. Due to statistical errors, but also due to the methods used, world exports and world imports do not exactly balance each other out.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Export  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: export  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Werner G. Faix / Stefanie Kisgen / Alexander Lau / Annette Schulten / Tassilo Zywietz, Praxishandbuch Außenwirtschaft , 2006, p. 79 f.
  2. Manfred Borchert, Außenwirtschaftslehre: Theory and Politics , 1987, p. 8
  3. Manfred Borchert, Foreign Trade: Theory and Politics , 1987, p. 143
  4. Manfred Borchert, Foreign Trade: Theory and Politics , 1987, p. 12
  5. George Stigler, The Theory of Economic Regulation , in: Bell Journal of Economics and Management Science, no. 3, 1971, pp. 3-18
  6. Federal Statistical Office (Destatis): Causes of asymmetries in foreign trade statistics . Retrieved January 2, 2018.