US main non-EU trade partner for the Netherlands

Most Dutch imports and exports come from and go to countries in the European Union. More than half of imports come from an EU member country, while about three-quarters of exports go there. Outside the EU the United States is the Netherlands’ main trade partner .

Trade with US, first six months

In the first half of 2003 the Netherlands exported 5.7 billion euro worth of goods to the US, 5 percent of total exports. Imports from the US amounted to 8.1 billion euro, 8 percent of the total import value of goods. This results in a trade deficit for the Netherlands with respect to America.

Imports falling

Various factors influence trade with the US. The rate of the dollar against the euro is one of them. In the first half of 2003 the value of imports from America was 19 percent lower than in the same period in 2002. This is largely the same amount as the decline in the value of the dollar against the euro. There were substantial reductions in value for nearly all main product groups imported form America. One exception was imported of aircraft: their import value rose by 11 percent.

Main imports from US, first half year

Export growth stagnating

The value of goods exported to the US was 1 percent higher in the first half of this year than in the same period last year. The main products exported to America are alcoholic beverages (especially beer). More than half of alcoholic beverages exported from the Netherlands go to America. In the first half of this year, the export value of these products was around the same as in the first half of last year.

Product groups which showed explosive rises in the same period were ‘oil refinery products’ (+ 114 percent) and ‘medicinal and pharmaceutical products’ (+ 93 percent).

Main exports to US, first six months

Trade deficit with the US

Like most other EU countries, the Netherlands has had a surplus on its balance of trade for a number of years now. Ireland is the exception in the EU. There are countries with which the Netherlands has a trade deficit, however, as is the case with the US.

Until 2002 America was the country with which the Netherlands had the largest trade deficit. Since the second half of 2002, however, China has taken over this position.

Jeanet Exel

Source: StatLine (Dutch only)