Agricultural product exports exceeded 100 billion euros for the first time last year. According to Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS), who jointly researched sales, the increase was mainly due to higher prices and to a lesser extent also from higher volumes. The value of exports increased year-on-year by 9.4% to 104.7 billion euros.
Dutch-made goods accounted for approximately 75 billion euros of export value. This is nearly 11 percent more than the previous year. In addition, the value of agricultural goods from abroad was €29 billion which were re-exported via the Netherlands, the so-called re-export. This was more than 6 percent.
Floristry products were the most important export product. Flowers, plants, nursery stock and flower bulbs accounted for 12 billion euros of export value, a quarter more than the previous year. Meat came in second with 9.1 billion euros, an increase of 7 percent year-on-year. The export of cereals, flour and milk products shrunk. According to the researchers, one of the reasons for this is the sharp drop in the export of infant formula powder to China.
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Most of the exports went to Germany. The volume of the largest economy in Europe and the most important trading partner of the Netherlands amounted to 26.3 billion euros. This is about a quarter of the total. Belgium’s share amounted to 12 percent. France and the United Kingdom each accounted for 8%. France ousted the United Kingdom from the top three. Exports to France grew by 14 percent. Those to the UK fell slightly.
The latter is partly due to the decrease in the re-export of products to Great Britain. Since January 1 last year, Brexit has made shipping items directly into the country rather than via the Netherlands more attractive. Exports of agricultural products from the Netherlands to the UK increased by 14 per cent. It should be noted, however, that the imposition of stricter controls on animal and plant products transiting the North Sea has been postponed. The strictest customs rules have not yet been implemented. It is expected to affect trade with the British this year.
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