The Federal Republic of Germany, located at the heart of Europe, is a mid-sized country and the world’s fifth largest economy. With a total territory of 357.022 square kilometers, Germany is almost the size of Montana and the fourth largest country in Western Europe. Geographically, the country is dominated by lowlands and uplands as well as the Alps range along its southern regions and 2.389 kilometers of coastline. Likewise, Germany has a temperate, yet seasonal continental climate with an occasional harsh winter. The country has a total population of approximately 81 million citizens, making it the most populous country in Western Europe. Furthermore, Germany’s population has an average age of 47 years and about 77% live in an urban setting, notably the capital city of Berlin with some 3.6 million inhabitants.
Agribusiness, Trade & Economics in Germany
Currently, the country’s national annual gross domestic product (GDP) is US$4.2 trillion and has experienced positive economic growth upwards of 1.5% in recent years. The German economy is divided into 1% agriculture, 30% manufacturing, and 69% services. Similarly, the agriculture industry only utilizes about 48% of the national territory, while another 32% is forested. In terms of natural resources, Germany has coal, lignite, natural gas, iron, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, timber, and arable land. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on the production of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, electronics, automobiles, shipbuilding, and textiles. Meanwhile, the country’s small agricultural industry has as main products potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages, milk products, cattle, pigs, and poultry.
In terms of trade, Germany is the third largest export economy in the world. During 2016, the country imported US$973 billion worth of goods and exported US$1.25 trillion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$280 billion. Furthermore, that same year, Germany’s main export, representing 12% or US$154 billion of the country’s total, were cars. On the other hand, the country’s main import, representing 5.4% or US$52.3 billion of all international purchases, were also cars. Meanwhile, Germany’s main trading partners are fellow members of the European Union, notably France, the Netherlands, and Italy, as well as the United States and China.
In recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the German population has been 61 grams daily. Simultaneously, land distribution and output in Germany have evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, permanent pastures and meadows in the country covered 6.65 million hectares, while arable land covered 12.2 million hectares and permanent crops covered 504.000 hectares. More recently, by 2015, permanent pastures and meadows covered 4.7 million hectares, while arable land represented 11.8 million hectares and permanent crops accounted for 205.000 hectares. Lastly, in 1961, the cereals market in Germany utilized 7.1 million hectares of land and yielded some 17.3 million metric tons annually. Meanwhile, in 2016, the country devoted 6.3 million hectares of land to cereals production and yielded 45.4 million metric tons.