According to provisional figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the value of international trade in goods rose sharply in the first month of 2006. Imports went up by 20 percent, exports by 15 percent, compared to January 2005. This was partly the effect of higher prices. Import value of goods amounted to 22.4 billion euro; the value of exports reached 24.5 billion euro, resulting in a trade surplus of 2.1 billion euro.
Higher import and export prices
Import and export prices were 7 percent higher in January 2006 than in the same month last year, but January 2006 had one extra working day relative to January 2005. If price rises and the effect of the extra working day are taken into account, the volume of imports was 8 percent up in January 2006 on January 2005. The volume of exports increased by 5 percent.
Mineral fuels and computers dominate trade increase
The distinct rise in import value of goods was caused for almost 60 percent by imports of mineral fuels and computers. These product groups accounted for an increase in exports of approximately 50 percent.
The mounting oil price is the main reason for the higher import and export value of mineral fuels. In January 2006, the oil price was over 50 percent higher than in January 2005. As the gas price is linked to the oil price, the value of gas exports also increased considerably. Re-export plays a key role in the increase in computer trade.
Sharp increase in trade with non-EU countries
The increase in imports from non-EU countries accounted for 60 percent of total increase in imports. In January, the value of imports from non-EU countries stood at 10.6 billion euro, i.e. a 19 percent increase on January 2005. Imports from EU countries grew by 14 percent to reach 11.8 billion euro.
Exports to non-EU countries were worth 5.4 billion euro, an increase by 19 percent on the same period last year. Exports to EU-countries reached a value of 19.2 billion euro, a 14 percent rise on January 2005.