German Christmas trade: Selling trees to the Netherlands, buying baubles from China
Germany imported more Christmas decorations and exported fewer Christmas trees in 2018, according to statistics released on Monday by the government’s statistics agency, Destatis.
The statistics are released annually and also showed that more people in Germany spent Christmas in hotels or other accommodation in 2018 compared to previous years.
German holiday facts 2018
This is good news for the tourism industry and for the retail sector, which also saw the profit margins of many goods such as electronics and body care products increase slightly in the months leading up to Christmas 2019.
Given the large number of Germans staying in Germany, the statistics also look good for the domestic tourism industry.
However, it is less promising for the German Christmas tree industry, with a fall in exports compared to the previous year.
What are the figures?
- 30 million overnight stays were recorded in Germany in December 2018, 24 million by Germans, an increase of 21% from 2013.
- Of foreign tourists staying in Germany in December, the largest numbers hailed from the Netherlands (691,000 rooms overnight), the US (485,000 rooms) and the UK (483,000).
- Germany exported 17% fewer Christmas trees in 2018 compared to 2017, 742,000 tons down from 897,000 tons. Most German Christmas trees are grown in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Cologne is located. The biggest recipient was the Netherlands.
- 17,720 tons of Christmas decorations and presents were imported to Germany, 72% from China, worth €143 million ($158.7 million). This is an increase of 12% from the previous year.
- 19% of German retailers’ income came during Christmas time 2018 (November and December), with a disproportionate amount from traditional Christmas gifts such as books and jewelry.