In 1990, the year before the first Gulf War, the Netherlands exported 127 million euro worth of goods to Iraq. As a consequence of the United Nations trade embargo in the years after the war with, this figure dwindled to 14 million euro a year on average.
Exports to Iraq started to increase slowly after 1999, but in 2002 their value was 32 million euro, 14 percent less than a year earlier.
Trade with Iraq
Exports: mainly medical instruments
Trade of products for humanitarian purposes was exempt from the embargo, and indeed the Netherlands exported mainly medical instruments, food and pharmaceuticals to Iraq.
Nearly half (47 percent) of Dutch exports to Iraq in 2002 consisted of medical instruments, foodstuffs accounted for 12 percent and pharmaceutical products for 5 percent.
Imports: crude petroleum
In 1990 the Netherlands imported 692 million euro worth of goods from Iraq, nearly all crude oil (688 million euro). After 1991 imports virtually came to a standstill because of the war, but since 1997 oil imports have started to increase again.
In 2002 imports from Iraq, consisting entirely of crude oil, were worth 623 million euro. This is 30 percent less than in 2001. But not only did the import value fall, the volume of oil imported from Iraq also diminished in 2002. Compared with 2001, oil imports were 1.3 million tons down in 2002.