Frankfurt (AFP)- According to data released on Thursday, China was Germany’s top commercial partner for the seventh consecutive year in 2022, raising concerns among politicians about Beijing’s economic hegemony.

According to the federal statistics office Destatis, goods worth 297.9 billion euros ($318.9 billion) were traded between the two nations last year, up 20% despite the coronavirus pandemic’s ongoing effects.

The amount of Germany’s trade imbalance with China—the gap between its higher import value and lower export value—was 84.3 billion euros, which was a record high since the statistics organisation started keeping data in 1950.

In 2022, imports from China reached 191.1 billion euros, a 33 percent rise from the previous year.

Nevertheless, the value of exports remained essentially unchanged, rising merely 3% to 106.8 billion euros in 2022.

China dropped two spots to fourth position in the list of countries where German products were exported as a result of the paltry amount.

With the West and Beijing at odds over Beijing’s relations to Russia and human rights concerns, concerns about Germany’s increasing dependence on China are on the rise.

German economic think tank IfW Kiel said in a research released on Wednesday that “Germany urgently needs a plan for increased diversification” away from China to guarantee supply of essential raw materials and commodities, notably electronics.

The United States, Germany’s second-largest trade partner overall, was the main market for goods “made in Germany,” absorbing imports worth 156 billion euros.

In general, Germany’s trade surplus in 2022 was at its lowest point since 2000. According to Destatis, the historic export powerhouse’s key indicator decreased to 79.7 billion euros on a yearly basis as a result of increased energy import costs.

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