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[FRANKFURT] German exports to Russia plunged by nearly 17 per cent in the first eight months of this year, against the backgrop of European sanctions against Moscow, official data showed on Wednesday.
"Between January and August, German exports to Russian fell by 16.6 per cent to 20.3 billion euros" (US$25.8 billion), the federal statistics office Destatis said in a statement.
Machinery made up the largest part or 22.6 per cent of German exports to Russia in the eight-month period, the statisticians calculated.
Heavy goods vehicles and parts accounted for 19 per cent and chemicals for 10 per cent.
But the export of heavy goods vehicles and parts plunged by 27.3 per cent, machinery exports were down 17.2 per cent and chemicals exports dropped by 5.9 per cent.
Overall, Russia is now the 13th most important customer for German-made goods, while it had ranked 11th a year ago.
In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, the European Union has slapped economic sanctions on Russia and Moscow has responded with embargoes of its own on EU-made goods.