Foreign trade growing

The value of goods imported to and exported from the Netherlands was higher in April 2004 than in April 2003. Imports were 5 percent higher at 17.7 billion euro, exports amounted to 19.9 billion euro, 6 percent more than one year previously according to provisional figures from Statistics Netherlands.

The prices of imported products were slightly higher on average than twelve months previously, while the prices of exports remained at about the same level. It is the first time since the first quarter of 2003 that prices were not lower than in the same period twelve months earlier.

Trade with EU countries rises

April 2004 was the last month that the European Union consisted of 15 countries. The value of imports from the EU member countries was 2 percent higher in April than twelve months previously, at 9.7 billion euro. Exports were 4 percent higher than in April 2003 at 14.7 billion euro.

Strong increase in trade with non-EU countries

Just as in March, in April 2004 trade with countries outside the European Union showed a clear increase. The value of imports from these countries was 9 percent higher than in the same month in 2003, at 8.0 billion euro. Exports were 12 percent higher, at 5.2 billion euro.

More trade in raw materials and mineral fuels

The value of imported and exported raw material and mineral fuels was considerably higher in April 2004 than twelve months previously. One important reason for this was the increase in oil prices. The value of imports and exports of chemical  products, machines and transports equipment also increased by more than average. International trade in food and drink and in manufactured products, on the other hand, were below average.

PDF contains complete press release, including tables and graphics.