Trade with China snowballing

17/01/2005 10:00

Dutch goods trade with China snowballed in the first ten months of 2004. The value of imports from and exports to China grew by 31 and 43 percent respectively, whereas total Dutch imports and exports grew by only 9 percent over the same period of time.

China newcomer in top 5

In the first ten months of 2004 the Netherlands imported goods from China worth 11.2 billion euro, well above total Dutch imports from China over 2003 which amounted to 10.6 billion euro. China entered the top 5 of main import trading partners forcing France to slip back into sixth place. More than 6 percent of all goods imported into the Netherlands are produced in China.

Value of goods imported from China

Value of goods imported from China

Computers main import product

The import of computers (worth almost 4 billion euro) accounts for over one-third of total imports from China. In the first ten months of 2004 the import of computers was almost 40 percent higher than in the same period one year previously. The import of telecommunication equipment increased by no less than 70 percent to reach over 1 billion euro.

The Netherlands mainly acts as a distributor of these products which are imported and re-exported to other European countries and are not processed in the Netherlands.

China largest supplier of toys

Due to the small-scale production of toys in the Netherlands (worth approximately 100 million euro annually) most toys have to be imported. In the period January-October 2004 the import of toys amounted to 1.1 billion euro. More than one third came from China. Germany was runner-up with a share of 16 percent. Most of these toys were re-exported.

Value of goods exported to China

Value of goods exported to China

Value of exports increases substantially but is still marginal

More than half of exports to China consist of machinery, equipment and chemical products.

In the first ten months of 2004 Dutch exports to China amounted to 1.9 billion euro, 0.6 billion more than in the same period of the previous year. Machinery and photo and cinematographic equipment account for half of the increase.

In spite of the sharp increase in exports, the value of goods exported to China covers only 0.9 percent of total Dutch export of goods.

Wiel Packbier