Trade surplus with Germany down again

16/02/2004 10:00

The Netherlands’ balance of trade with its biggest trading partner – Germany – fell again in 2003, to less than 16 billion euro. In 2002 this surplus had already fallen by 4.9 billion euro. In 2000 it was still more than 21 billion euro.

The surplus on the total Dutch balance of trade rose strongly in the same period, from nearly 16 billion to 28 billion euro.

Balance of trade, total and with Germany

Balance of trade, total and with Germany

Exports at about the same level

The Netherlands exported 56.6 billion euro worth of goods to Germany in 2003, about the same amount as in the previous year. The share of Germany in total Dutch exports also remained at the same level as in 2002, at just over 24 percent. In 1996 this share was still 28 percent. Since then the German share in exports has dropped by a little every year. This overall downward trend did not continue in 2003, though.

Imports up slightly

Imports from Germany rose by 2 percent to 40.8 billion euro. More medicines and pharmaceutical products in particular were imported. The share of Germany in total Dutch imports rose by 0.6 of a percent point in 2003, to 20 percent.

Cars and computers

Computers are still the Netherlands’ biggest export product to Germany, indeed the top five export products were the same as in 2002.

Cars still top the list of import products from Germany.

Main import products from Germany

Main import products from Germany

Germany still the Netherlands’ biggest trade partner

Germany is still the Netherlands’ biggest trade partner , followed at a distance by Belgium. Germany’s share in Dutch foreign trade equals that of Belgium and the United Kingdom taken together.

Exports to top five export countries

Exports to top five export countries

Exports to European Union slightly down

Dutch trade with EU countries fell slightly in 2003. Imports were down 1 percent to nearly 116 billion euro, and exports fell by nearly 0.5 percent to just over 175 billion euro. The share of EU countries in overall Dutch goods trade was largely unchanged on 2002, with 57 percent of imports and 75 percent of exports.

Wiel Packbier

Source: Statline (Dutch only)