Country Focus Data: Germany

by Melissa Alexander
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Capital: Berlin.

Demography: Population 83 million, 0.27% growth rate (2001 estimates); German language; 38% Protestant, 34% Roman Catholic, 26% unaffiliated religion.

Geography: Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, North Sea; temperate and climate; lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south.

Government: Federal republic. Chief of state is President Johannes Rau; head of government is Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (re-elected in September 2002).

Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture under Minister Renate Kuenast.

Economy: Germany has the world’s third most technologically powerful economy after the U.S. and Japan, but structural market rigidities have made unemployment a long-term problem. The integration of the eastern German economy remains a costly long-term effort, with annual transfers from western Germany amounting to roughly U.S.$70 billion.

Agriculture accounts for 1.2% of gross domestic product and employs 2.8% of the workforce.

G.D.P. per capita: U.S.$23,400 (purchasing power parity), 3% growth rate, 2% inflation, 9.9% unemployment (2000 estimates).

Currency: Euro. Sept. 24, 2002 exchange rate: 1.01836 euros per U.S. dollar.

Exports: U.S.$578 billion (f.o.b., 2000), machinery, vehicles, chemicals, foodstuffs.

Imports: U.S.$505 billion (f.o.b., 2000, machinery, foodstuffs, textiles, metals.

Major crops/agricultural products: Wheat, barley, rye, potates. As result of devastating floods in the eastern half of Germany along the Elbe and Mulde rivers, the German grain crop estimate for 2002 was lowered to 43.45 million tonnes, down 6.25 millions from the record year 2001. Even so, the 2002 grain crop will be the fifth-largest harvest on record.

Wheat: Germany in the past few years typically has produced about 20 million to 22 million tonnes a year, with total use about 17 million. Annual imports generally range from about 750,000 to 1.2 million tonnes, while exports range from 5 million to 8 million tonnes.

Rye: Production generally has been in the 4 million- to 5 million-tonne range, with total consumption at about 3 million.

Barley: Annual production ranges from about 12 million to about 13.5 million tonnes, with domestic use at 10.5 million tonnes.

Transportation: Highways, 656,140 km, 650,891 paved; railroads, 44,000 km, 20,300 electrified; Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Rostock are major ports.

Internet: Country code, *.de; 123 service providers; 18 million users (2000).

Data (1,000 tonnes)

Production

Consumption

Exports

Imports

Wheat

20,900

17,200

5,300

1,200

Barley

11,000

10,300

2,200

700

Wheat flour

4,118

na

na

na

Rye

3,700

3,000

1,500

0

2002-03 marketing year estimates, except wheat flour, 1999

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, International Grains Council

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