It said sales were down by just over 3% to a total of approximately €2.04bn ($2.42bn) with just over 531,105 tons of confectionery and snacks exported in the first quarter of this year.
The BDSI said demand from the Asian region is increasing again, compared with the previous year, and there are optimistic signs regarding business outlook with the USA.
With an export share of over 50%, more than every second ton of German confectionery is exported.
"This export strength is a major reason why the medium-sized confectionery industry, which is unique in the world, has been preserved in Germany," said Dr Carsten Bernoth, General Manager of the BDSI.
"Export is an important basis for smaller companies in particular to be able to generate income against the background of high trade concentration and the tough price war in Germany."
The BDSI said three out of four companies (76%) are recording very high increases in personnel costs because of the coronavirus pandemic - in particular due to increased occupational safety measures, tests of employees for the coronavirus and increased absenteeism due to illnesses, quarantine and childcare.
The procurement of agricultural raw materials and packaging materials, as well as logistics and energy costs, have also increased significantly for German confectionery companies.