Germany’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products

The economic powerhouse of the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany serves as an attractive market for imported goods sold by suppliers around the globe.

The 100 most valuable consumer products imported into Germany attracted a subtotal US$486.7 billion worth of spending on international goods in 2020. That consumer-specific dollar amount represents 41.5% of the overall value of all goods imported into Germany, a massive $1.172 trillion worth of spending.

The 5 most valuable consumer products imported into Germany during 2020 were cars, medications, automobile parts or accessories, computers and phones.

The total dollar amount for the top 100 imported consumer products from the nation also known as Deutschland declined by -1.6% from 2019 to 2020. The top 100 consumer metric compares to a -5.2% drop for all of Germany’s imported goods for the year.

Germany’s purchases of imported products, both overall and for consumer goods, dropped at a slower pace than the global average decline of -8.2% from 2019 to 2020 for all importing countries.

Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Germany, 47 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 53 declined.

Changes in German consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.

Consumer Products Defined

Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.

Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.

Types of Consumer Products

This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.

Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.

Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.

Speciality Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.

Germany’s Most Valuable Imported Convenience Products

The list below showcases the most valuable imported convenience products on which buyers in Germany spent the most. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level and are presented in descending order.

You can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020 by focusing on the percentages displayed to the right of each product name.

  1. Medications: US$33,677,824,000 (up 10.1%)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $15,007,389,000 (down -38.6%)
  3. Miscellaneous plastic items: $6,252,392,000 (down -0.6%)
  4. Orthopedic appliances: $5,306,033,000 (down -7.7%)
  5. Cheese, curd: $4,710,288,000 (up 3.9%)
  6. Plastic packing goods, lids, caps: $3,705,020,000 (down -2%)
  7. Coffee: $3,537,125,000 (up 9.4%)
  8. Wine: $2,949,214,000 (down -0.2%)
  9. Vulcanized rubber items: $2,766,628,000 (down -10.8%)
  10. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $2,715,612,000 (down -40.9%)
  11. Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries: $2,676,728,000 (up 4.7%)
  12. Other organic cleaning preparations: $2,448,470,000 (down -3.6%)
  13. Chocolate, other cocoa preparations: $2,393,157,000 (down -1.6%)
  14. Miscellaneous nuts: $2,361,773,000 (up 11.2%)
  15. Other food preparations: $2,066,289,000 (up 11.5%)
  16. Other fresh/chilled vegetables: $1,992,470,000 (up 12%)
  17. Fresh or chilled beef: $1,786,825,000 (down -5.6%)
  18. Fish fillets, pieces: $1,707,812,000 (down -5.2%)
  19. Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes: $1,692,117,000 (up 18.1%)
  20. Swine meat: $1,662,701,000 (down -10.8%)
  21. Poultry meat: $1,605,750,000 (down -13.6%)
  22. Soya beans: $1,590,847,000 (up 13.2%)
  23. Miscellaneous fruits (fresh): $1,569,092,000 (up 9.6%)
  24. Fresh or dried citrus fruit: $1,561,803,000 (up 32.3%)
  25. Tomatoes: $1,540,501,000 (up 8%)
  26. Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs): $1,514,444,000 (down -8.2%)
  27. Miscellaneous preserved fruits: $1,446,208,000 (up 11.1%)
  28. Uncoated paper for writing/printing: $1,427,205,000 (down -10.3%)
  29. Waters with added sugar: $1,414,684,000 (up 5.3%)
  30. Unsweetened milk/cream: $1,412,308,000 (up 11.6%)
  31. Miscellaneous live plants: $1,411,163,000 (up 1%)
  32. Fruit and vegetable juices: $1,359,661,000 (down -3.7%)
  33. Perfumes, toilet waters: $1,300,914,000 (down -25%)
  34. Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared): $1,235,207,000 (up 17.3%)
  35. Cocoa beans: $1,209,366,000 (up 2.2%)
  36. Fresh/dried flowers: $1,169,086,000 (down -2.2%)
  37. Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry): $1,124,772,000 (up 7.3%)

Convenience products led by the products listed above represent the European country’s second-most popular import product type attracting Germany’s international spending behind shopping products but ahead of speciality goods.

Non-durable consumer products are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Alcoholic beverages and bananas are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.

Germany’s Most Valuable Imported Shopping Products

Below, the list highlights the most valuable imported shopping products on which buyers in Germany spent the greatest amounts. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level and are presented from highest to lowest total amounts.

The percentages displayed to the right of each product name reveal the highest increases or decreases in German spending on that specific type of shopping product from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Cars: US$65,529,511,000 (down -9.2%)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $32,946,986,000 (down -17%)
  3. Computers, optical readers: $27,312,463,000 (up 11.7%)
  4. Phones: $24,820,581,000 (up 8.3%)
  5. Insulated wire/cable: $10,073,700,000 (down -6.1%)
  6. Miscellaneous textile items: $8,218,126,000 (up 549.7%)
  7. Printing machinery: $7,879,926,000 (down -2.7%)
  8. Electrical converters/power units: $7,732,271,000 (up 10.7%)
  9. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $7,677,090,000 (down -5.2%)
  10. Trucks: $6,665,569,000 (down -12.4%)
  11. Miscellaneous furniture: $6,663,266,000 (up 4.7%)
  12. Computer parts, accessories: $5,556,382,000 (up 6%)
  13. Footwear (leather): $4,995,506,000 (down -7.8%)
  14. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): $4,566,897,000 (down -3.3%)
  15. Women’s clothing (not knit/crochet): $4,462,353,000 (down -9.2%)
  16. Men’s suits (unknit/non-crochet): $4,221,768,000 (down -11.8%)
  17. Miscellaneous iron or steel items: $4,046,965,000 (down -11.9%)
  18. Footwear (textile): $3,897,003,000 (down -0.02%)
  19. T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet): $3,884,098,000 (down -6.2%)
  20. Coins excluding legal tender: $3,714,144,000 (up 64.9%)
  21. Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins: $3,512,606,000 (down -13.7%)
  22. Microphones/headphones/amplifiers: $3,423,900,000 (up 13.8%)
  23. Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys: $3,396,572,000 (up 1.5%)
  24. Cases, handbags, wallets: $3,154,252,000 (down -16.1%)
  25. Women’s clothing (knit or crochet): $3,007,224,000 (up 0.8%)
  26. Unrecorded sound media: $2,802,340,000 (down -10.6%)
  27. Video console games, table games: $2,787,790,000 (up 5.2%)
  28. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $2,679,473,000 (up 8.1%)
  29. Motorcycles: $2,530,334,000 (up 9.5%)
  30. Tractors: $2,480,073,000 (down -18.5%)
  31. Trailers: $2,364,425,000 (down -8.9%)
  32. Footwear (rubber or plastic): $2,249,791,000 (down -7.9%)
  33. Women’s coats (unknit/non-crochet): $1,928,535,000 (down -6.5%)
  34. Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items: $1,903,087,000 (down -30.2%)
  35. Sports equipment: $1,734,129,000 (down -1.7%)
  36. Packaged insecticides, herbicides: $1,690,546,000 (up 4%)
  37. Paper containers, cellulose wadding: $1,573,791,000 (down -0.5%)
  38. Linens: $1,514,075,000 (up 0.4%)
  39. Felt or other non-woven garments: $1,503,247,000 (up 72.2%)
  40. Wrist/pocket watches (regular case): $1,480,407,000 (up 2%)
  41. Printed books, brochures: $1,452,905,000 (up 6%)
  42. Miscellaneous aluminum items: $1,308,638,000 (down -14.6%)
  43. Mattresses, quilts: $1,289,312,000 (up 6.6%)
  44. Men’s coats (unknit/non-crochet): $1,165,234,000 (down -5.9%)
  45. Other pharmaceutical preparations: $1,160,044,000 (up 0.7%)

Focusing on the scope of this analysis, shopping products is Germany’s most popular category ahead of both convenience products and speciality items.

Shopping products approach half (45) of the overall top 100 German imported consumer goods.

Durable consumer products are goods like cars, refrigerators and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. Note that shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.

Germany’s Most Valuable Imported Speciality Products

Speciality products represent the category with the fewest entries among Germany’s imports that attracted the country’s spending on imported consumer goods during 2020.

Selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level, the most valuable speciality items are listed in descending order below.

The percentage to the right of each product name reveal highest increases or decreases in 2020 compared to 2019.

  1. Gold (unwrought): US$8,229,281,000 (up 86.3%)
  2. Electric storage batteries: $8,062,338,000 (up 45.6%)
  3. Seats (not barber/dentist chairs): $7,469,046,000 (down -5.8%)
  4. Rubber tires (new): $5,944,491,000 (down -9.9%)
  5. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $4,745,169,000 (up 9%)
  6. Liquid pumps: $4,498,476,000 (down -11.9%)
  7. Refrigerators, freezers: $3,076,214,000 (up 0.6%)
  8. Household base metal mountings: $2,754,002,000 (down -1.1%)
  9. Temperature-change machines: $2,357,178,000 (down -8.5%)
  10. Beauty/makeup/skin care: $2,186,539,000 (down -16%)
  11. Air conditioners: $2,144,376,000 (down -0.9%)
  12. Interchangeable hand/machine tools: $1,960,855,000 (down -12.5%)
  13. Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines: $1,880,259,000 (up 1.4%)
  14. Vacuum cleaners: $1,730,271,000 (up 5.2%)
  15. Jewelry: $1,544,391,000 (down -4.3%)
  16. Electromechanic appliances: $1,460,528,000 (up 14.3%)
  17. Hand-drawn paintings, drawings: $1,197,843,000 (up 190.8%)
  18. Speed/distance meters: $1,173,912,000 (down -11.7%)

Like shopping products, speciality products are considered as durable consumer products.

Based on the product types identified in the sections above, 63 of Germany’s 100 highest-value consumer shopper plus speciality products are durable while the remaining 37 convenience products are classified as non-durable.

Germany’s Overall Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports

Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Germany that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Miscellaneous textile items: Up 549.7% ($8.2 billion)
  2. Hand-drawn paintings and drawings: Up 190.8% ($1.2 billion)
  3. Gold: Up 86.3% ($8.2 billion) 
  4. Felt or other non-woven garments: Up 72.2% ($1.5 billion)
  5. Coins excluding legal tender: Up 64.9% ($3.7 billion)
  6. Electric storage batteries: Up 45.6% ($8.1 billion)
  7. Fresh or dried citrus fruit: Up 32.3% ($1.6 billion)
  8. Cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes: Up 18.1% ($1.7 billion)
  9. Preserved or prepared fish including caviar: Up 17.3% ($1.2 billion)
  10. Electromechanic appliances: Up 14.3% ($1.5 billion)

Among the above top 10 gainers, 7 qualify as durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. Five of those durable items are speciality products including hand-drawn paintings or drawings, gold and coins excluding legal tender. The 2 fastest-growing shopping products are miscellaneous textile items and felt or non-woven garments which also satisfy the technical definition for durable goods.

The fastest-growing convenience products are fresh or dried citrus fruits; cigars, cigarellos and cigarettes; and preserved or prepared fish including caviar. Consumers consider these items as non-durable products, commonly referred to as disposable goods that normally are used only once.

Germany’s Overall Worst-Declining Consumer Imports

Spending by buyers in Germany on the following 10 items decreased in value at the severest rate from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: Down -40.9% ($2.7 billion)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: Down -38.6% ($15 billion)
  3. Items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel: Down -30.2% ($1.9 billion)
  4. Perfumes, toilet waters: Down -25% ($1.3 billion)
  5. Tractors: Down -18.5% ($2.5 billion)
  6. Automobile parts or accessories: Down -17% ($32.9 billion)
  7. Cases, handbags, wallets: Down -16.1% ($3.2 billion)
  8. Beauty/makeup/skin care: Down -16% ($2.2 billion)
  9. Miscellaneous aluminum items: Down -14.6% ($1.3 billion)
  10. Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins: Down -13.7% ($3.5 billion)

Three among Germany’s top 10 declining imports are non-durable convenience products consumed one time. These are the fuel items coal and processed petroleum oils, plus the perfumes and toilet waters product category.

Six among the remaining major import decliners are shopping products that normally require more time for consumers to make buying decisions. Purchases under the shopping products category are more likely to be deferred than convenience products. Examples of these shopping goods range from cases, handbags and wallets to automobile parts or accessories.

The lone speciality product category among the severest decliners was beauty, makeup and skincare, items that typically are characterized by a strong brand name loyalty.

Key Suppliers by Country

This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target German demand for its top 5 consumer import products.

For Germany, the biggest imported consumer product by value is cars. The 4 other leading consumer products imported into Germany are medications, automobile parts or accessories, computers, and phones including smartphones.

Below, you will find major supplying countries for Germany’s imported:

Cars: Spain (13.3% of total), United States (10.6%), Czech Republic (9.5%), Slovakia (8.3%), France (6.6%), Hungary (6.6%), Mexico (6.2%), Italy (4.7%), United Kingdom (4.3%) and South Africa (3.9%).

Medications: Switzerland (15.5% of total), United States (12.3%), Netherlands (11.3%), Ireland (11.1%), France (7.34%), United Kingdom (6.4%), Italy (6.3414%), Spain (4.6%), Singapore (4.1%) and Belgium (2.9%).

Automobile parts or accessories: Czech Republic (13.4% of total), Poland (12.1%), France (8.4%), Romania (7.4%), Austria (7.3%), Hungary (7.3%), Italy (7%), Slovakia (6%), Spain (4.3%) and China (3.8%).

Computers: China (56% of total), Netherlands (6.1%), Czech Republic (5.7%), Poland (4.1%), Taiwan (3.3%), United States (3%), South Korea (2.5%), Ireland (2.4%), Thailand (2.2%) and United Kingdom (1.9%).

Phones: China (51.9% of total), Vietnam (9.2%), Netherlands (5.5%), Czech Republic (4.3%), Poland (3.5%), United Kingdom (3%), United States (2.4%), Taiwan (2.1%), Hungary (2%) and South Korea (1.5%).

See also

More great research: Germany’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, Netherlands Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, China’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Japan’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Philippines Top 100 Imported Consumer Products


Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Germany Economy.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.

Trading Economics, Germany Consumer Spending.

Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.

World’s Top Exports, Germany’s Top 10 Imports.

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