Imports and exports grow by 15 percent

In February 2006, the value of international trade in goods was again considerably higher than in the same month one year previously. According to figures published by Statistics Netherlands, imports and exports were 15 percent up on February 2005. Imports reached a value of 21.6 billion euro, exports amounted to 24.6 billion euro. The trade balance showed a surplus of 3.0 billion euro.

Dutch import and export prices went up by 6 percent in February compared to February 2005. February 2006 had the same amount of working days as February 2005. Adjusted for price changes, the volume of imports increased by 9 percent compared to the same period last year; the volume of exports increased 8 percent in February. 

Sharp rise in trade with non-EU countries

Imports of goods from non-EU countries amounted to 9.4 billion euro in February 2006, an increase by 17 percent on the same period one year previously. Imports of goods from EU countries reached a value of 12.1 billion euro in February, 14 percent up on the same month last year. The most important non-EU countries for Dutch imports were again China and the United States. Imports from China rose by 23 percent compared to February 2005 and imports from the US by 16 percent. In absolute figures, the value of imports from Germany, for example, was still more than twice the value of total imports from China plus the US.

Exports to non-EU countries totalled 5.5 billion euro in February 2006, i.e. 20 percent up on the same month last year. Exports to EU countries were worth 19.1 billion euro, an increase by 14 percent.

High increase in value of raw materials and mineral fuels

The value of imports and exports of raw materials and mineral fuels increased considerably in February this year compared to February 2005. The value of imports was 41 percent higher than last year, the value of exports showed an increase by 44 percent. This is mainly caused by higher fuel prices.