Germany vs. Argentina - the trade showdown

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Sunday sees the culmination of the World Cup , with the final being played between Germany and Argentina. Here's a look at the manufactured goods trade relationship between the UK and the two finalists.

All data from uktradeinfo, SITC codes 5,6,7,8

UK manufactured goods exports, 2013

Germany knock Argentina sideways with their importance as a UK export destination - the £24.8bn worth of manufactured goods exported to our European neighbours dwarves the £300.7m worth sent to Argentina in 2013.

UK manufactured goods imports, 2013

Once again there's no contest, with imports from Germany worth £50.5bn compared with just £38bn of manufactured goods received into the UK from Argentina in 2013.

But this does mean the UK has an overall trade deficit of £25.7bn with Germany, in contrast to a surplus of £262.6m with Argentina.

Top five manufactured goods sub-sectors* exported from UK, 2013

Road vehicles, pharmaceutical products and power generation equipment appear in the top five subsectors list for both countries. UK manufactured goods exports to Germany show their broad based nature with the top four all worth more than £2bn.

*2 digit SITC codes from SITC 5,6,7,8

Top five manufactured goods sub-sectors* imported to UK, 2013

What we send to Germany, we get back and even more some... Several chemicals sub-sectors do well for Argentina.

*2 digit SITC codes from SITC 5,6,7,8

Number of manufactured goods sub-sectors* where the UK has a positive trade balance, 2013

In six subsectors the UK has a surplus with Germany including other transport equipment (also in the top five export table); power generating machinery and equipment and articles of apparel and clothing accessories.

The UK has a deficit with Argentina in just eight subsectors including their top import of essential oils and perfume materials, as well as leather goods and iron and steel.

*Out of 35, 2 digit SITC codes from SITC 5,6,7,8


With manufactured goods exports from the UK to Germany over 80 times that of exports to Argentina, there's no real question in the result. With the UK and Germany part of the EU, the trading relationship is just too strong for Argentina to even make a dent. Final score? (Obviously from my own complicated matrix of factors... definitely not a wild guess) 3-1 to our European neighbours.


Senior Policy Researcher

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