Food: over 11 billion euro in trade surplus

The Netherlands exported 28 billion euro worth of food in 2004. This is 5 percent more than in 2003. The import value of food increased by 2 percent in the same period, reaching almost 17 billion euro. The export surplus in food increased to over 11 billion euro. The total export surplus on the Dutch trade balance in goods was 30 billion euro. The share of food in Dutch international trade in total decreased slightly after several years of growth.

Trade in food, 2004

Trade in food, 2004

Most trade in fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the main food items traded. In 2004 their import value fell by 3 percent to 4.7 billion euro. Dutch exports rose by almost 1 percent to 8.4 billion euro. The Russian import restrictions did not have much influence on the 2004 export figures.

Import of cereals rising fast

The Netherlands imported 2.3 billion euro worth of cereals in 2004, up 14 percent on 2003. Most was imported from France. Compared to 2003 these French imports increased by more than a quarter. Over the past year more cereals were exported. In 2004 the Netherlands exported 3 percent more in cereals, with a value of 1.4 billion euro. Germany is the main buyer, with almost a quarter of Dutch exported cereals going to Germany.

Growing trade in food with the new EU member states

Because of the free European market, the trade with the member states that joined the EU in May 2004 rose sharply. The value of food imported from these countries in 2004 doubled on 2003 reaching 0.5 billion euro. Almost half of the food imported from the new EU countries came from Poland, from where the Netherlands gets mainly meat, fruits and vegetables. Dutch exports to the new EU countries increased by 35 percent in 2004 to 0.7 billion euro. Here too Poland is the main trading partner.

Trade in food, countries of origin and destination

Trade in food, countries of origin and destination

Increasing trade within the EU

The share of the EU in food imports increased in 2004. In 2003 the share was still 70 percent. In 2004 almost 75 percent of all food came from the European Union. The increase was not only caused by the enlargement of the EU. Also the share of the former EU-15 increased in 2004. The EU share of exports increased to over 82 percent. The share of the ‘old’ EU-15 did diminish here though.

Wiel Packbier