The Dutch balance of trade usually shows a surplus, at least as far as goods are concerned. This means that the values of exported goods exceeds that of imported goods. In the first two months of 2001 the trade surplus was 85% larger than in the same period last year: 3.6 billion euro compared with 2 billion euro.
A number of countries in Europe contributed particularly strongly to the increase in the trade surplus. The growth in the surplus of trade with Germany was just over 1 billion euro, the surplus with Belgium rose by 0.6 billion. Relatively speaking however, the trade surplus with France grew by most, it was more than one and half times as high as in January and February last year.
In terms of value, nearly a quarter of all goods imported into the Netherlands come from Asia. Imports from this region have increased considerably in recent years. Exports to Asian countries have also increased, although not to the same extent.
Indeed the Netherlands has a trade deficit with the countries in Asia. In the first two months of 2001 this rose by nearly 1.2 billion euro, thus pushing down the overall surplus on the balance of trade.
Changes in trade flows Jan-Feb 2001 compared with Jan-Feb 2000
Jan van Laanen