Imports and exports continue to rise

The value of goods imported to and exported from the Netherlands was higher in May 2004 than in the same month of 2003. Imports were 8 percent higher at 17.8 billion euro. Exports were 6 percent up on May 2003 and amounted to 20.0 billion euro. In March and April the value of imports and exports was also distinctly higher than twelve months previously according to provisional figures published by Statistics Netherlands.

Higher prices partly accounted for the increased value of imports and exports. On the other hand, May 2004 had two working days less than May 2003 which had a negative effect on imports and exports.

Trade with EU countries picks up

In May 2004 the value of imports from the EU, which now comprises 25 countries, increased by 6 percent compared to twelve months previously. Exports gained 7 percent on May last year. In May 2004 the value of imports from the EU amounted to 10.3 billion euro, exports to 15.6 billion euro.

Trade with non-EU countries also improved in May 2004. Imports were 11 percent up on the same month last year at 7.6 billion euro, exports were 3 percent up on May 2003 at  4.4 billion euro.

More trade in raw materials and mineral fuels

The value of imported and exported raw materials and mineral fuels was considerably higher in April and May 2004 than twelve months previously. Higher oil prices underlie this development.

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