The Netherlands exported 2.4 billion euro worth of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in 2003, 4 percent less than in 2002. Beer accounted for most of these exports. In the same period 1.6 billion euro worth of drinks was imported, just over 1 percent up on 2002. Nearly half of imported beverages consisted of wine.
Imports and export of drinks by type, 2003
Share of alcoholic beverages small
Overall, the drinks trade accounts for a modest 1 percent of both total imports and total exports. Ninety percent of imported drinks come from the European Union.
Nearly two-thirds of exports on the other hand go to countries outside the European Union. Non-alcoholic drinks account for one quarter of imports and exports of drinks.
Beer most exported drink
The export value of beer was around the same in 2003 as in 2002, at 1.4 billion euro. The proportion of beer in total Dutch drink exports rose by just over 1 percent point to nearly 60 percent.
About half of beer production in the Netherlands is intended for export. Indeed the Netherlands is the largest exporter of beer in the world. Most of this beer goes to non-EU countries. The main destination is the US: more than two-thirds of exported beer goes there.
Value of drink imports and exports, by category and country group, 2003
Wine accounts for half of imports
The Netherlands imported 0.8 billion euro worth of wine in 2003. This means that nearly half of drink imports consisted of wine. More than 80 percent of imported wine comes from the EU, mainly from France. Outside the EU South Africa, Chile and Australia are the main suppliers.
South African and Australian wines have become especially popular. In the space of five years the amount of wine imported from these countries has doubled. The share of South African wine in total wine imports increased from 4 to 9 percent in the same period, while the share of Australian wine rose from just over 1 to more than 3 percent.