Germany's exports fell slightly in May compared to the previous month.

They shrank by 0.5 percent to 125.8 billion euros, as the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden announced on Monday.

Imports, on the other hand, increased by 2.7 percent to 126.7 billion euros.

The foreign trade balance was therefore negative - it was minus one billion euros in May.

It is the first time since January 2008 that Germany's foreign trade balance was negative - the Federal Statistical Office did not have any comparative figures before this date because the statistics were changed at the time.

For years, Germany was criticized for its high export surplus.

According to the information, German companies exported goods worth 67.5 billion euros to the member states of the EU, a decrease of 2.8 percent compared to April.

Exports to third countries, on the other hand, increased: compared to April, they grew by 2.3 percent to 58.3 billion euros.

Most German exports went to the USA - the value rose by 5.7 percent compared to April to 13.4 billion euros.

Exports to China increased by 0.5 percent to 8.7 billion euros.

Most of the imports worth 18.0 billion euros came from the People's Republic in May - but that was 1.6 percent less than in April.

Goods worth 7.4 billion euros were delivered to Germany from the USA, an increase of 9.7 percent.

In trade with Russia, exports rose again by around 29 percent to 1.0 billion euros - they had collapsed by almost 60 percent in March after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

According to statistics, they were 54.6 percent lower than in May 20201.

Imports from Russia - Germany mainly imports gas - fell by 9.8 percent from April to May to a value of 3.3 billion euros.