Dutch carpets sell in large amounts worldwide

Import competition from low-wage countries was detrimental to Dutch textile manufacturing industry but did not affect Dutch carpet manufacturing industry. Until 2003 this sector annually realised robust turnover increases and accounted for 40 percent of the total turnover of Dutch textile manufacturing industry.

Notwithstanding a drop in sales in the previous year, Dutch carpet manufacturing industry was runner-up on the worldwide list of carpet exporting countries in 2003. Tufted carpet was the best-selling product.

Aggregate turnover textile and carpet manufacturing industry

Tufted carpets best-selling product

In 2003 global sales of carpet manufacturing industry amounted to nearly 840 million euro; tufted carpets accounted for 80 percent, felt-based floor coverings for 11 percent and woven carpets for 5 percent. The output of tufted carpet amounted to nearly 135 million m2 in 2003. It can be visualised as a strip of 4 metres wide and nearly 34 thousand kilometres long.

More than 60 companies were active in Dutch carpet manufacturing industry in 2003. The bustling centre is in the north of the province of Overijssel and the Achterhoek region. The carpet sector employed 3,000 persons in 2003 and is originally based on the manufacture of rush mats.

Runner-up worldwide

The Netherlands was the second largest carpet exporting country worldwide in 2003 after Belgium outstripping large carpet manufacturers like India, the United States and Iran. Two thirds of Dutch output is exported. The top 5 of carpet-buying countries last year were Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Poland. These countries bought three quarters of the total export of carpets.

Top 5 largest export countries

Sales in the Netherlands down

In 2003 turnover of Dutch carpet manufacturing industry fell by 4 percent. In the same year volume and value of carpets exported increased which implies that the turnover decrease was the result of a decline in sales in the Netherlands. Carpet sales to foreign countries increased again in 2004.

The spending pattern of Dutch households and competition from other products affected the drop in sales in 2003. Since 2002 the average Dutch household is spending less on interior decoration. Households spent more on laminate and parquet floor coverings and less on carpets and rugs.

Imported and exported carpets

Roos Schellings