Germany: Facts about Advent: Import of Christmas Trees in 2022 Declines by -24.5% Compared to Previous Year

The German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) has released insights into the Advent season and the upcoming Christmas period. The import of fresh Christmas trees to Germany continued to decline in 2022. A total of 1.8 million trees were imported, marking a 24.5% decrease compared to the previous year. This also represents a significant drop of 37.1% compared to the peak in 2014.

As in previous years, the majority of imported Christmas trees (83.3%) came from Denmark, followed by 12.4% from Poland and 4.1% from the Netherlands.

The import of candles decreased by 19.8% in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year. The majority of candles were imported from Poland (58.7%), followed by China (17.0%), and Hungary (6.3%). In previous years, there was a rising trend, with a 3.2% increase in candle imports in 2022 compared to 2021.

Almonds, a popular item during the Advent season, were imported to Germany, with 69.6% originating from the USA. In total, around 74,700 tonnes of almonds were imported in the first three quarters of 2023, showing a 9.2% decrease compared to the same period in the previous year.

The Statistical Office also reported that the import of entertainment electronics in the first three quarters of 2023 amounted to 9.2 billion euros. This represents a 3.1% decrease compared to the previous year.

As the Christmas season approaches, imports of entertainment electronics usually see a significant increase. In 2022, almost one-third (31.2%) of the total imports of 13.8 billion euros occurred in the fourth quarter.

December remains the most lucrative month for several retail sectors. Retail sales of jewelry and watches in December 2022 were more than double compared to the weakest month, January 2022. Bookstores also experience their highest sales during the (pre-)Christmas season, and toys and electrical household appliances peak in December.

Many retailers are hopeful for a successful Christmas season this year. In the months of January to October 2023, the total turnover of stationary retail was 3.3% lower than in the same period of the previous year. Retail sales of books saw a 5.2% decrease in real turnover in the first ten months of 2023 compared to the previous year. In retail sales of jewelry and watches, a real decrease of 2.5% in turnover was recorded, and in retail sales of electrical household appliances, a real decrease of 0.8%.

However, real turnover in retail sales of entertainment electronics increased by 1.0% from January to October 2023, and retail sales of clothing saw a 2.4% increase compared to the previous year. Significant growth was particularly noted in retail sales of toys (+9.5%) and retail sales of shoes (+12.8%).