Dutch exports of goods to Germany amounted to 61.3 billion euro in 2004. The value of goods imported from Germany was 44.8 billion euro, resulting in a trade surplus with Germany of 16.4 billion euro. Germany remains by far the most important trading partner of the Netherlands, but its share in total goods trade is declining.
Trade surplus nosedives in 2002 and 2003
Trade surplus with Germany fell from 21.4 billion euro in 2001 to 15.7 billion euro in 2003, but improved marginally in 2004 (+ 0.7 billion) to reach 16.4 billion euro. This trend continued in the first four months of 2005.
Surplus trade balance in goods
Importance of trading partner Germany declining
Last year the value of goods imported from Germany by the Netherlands was almost 45 billion euro, a 9 percent increase on 2003. The increase over the first four months of 2005 was also 9 percent. Yet Germany’s share in total Dutch imports fell slightly to 19.6 percent. Germany’s share in total Dutch exports even fell for the eighth year in a row. In 1996 Dutch exports of goods to Germany totalled 28.5 percent, whereas in 2004 it was only 23.8 percent. Exports to Germany grew by 8 percent in 2004 to over 61 billion euro. In the period January – April 2005 exports increased by 7 percent.
Share of Germany in total international goods trade
Cars top list of imported products
Cars are the most important product imported from Germany. The share of cars wavers around 7 percent. In 2004 nearly 128 thousand cars worth over two billion euro were imported. The number of cars imported from Germany fell by 23 thousand compared to the previous year. In the first four months of 2005 the number grew again as over 44 thousand German cars were imported into the Netherlands, an increase by over 1,200 compared to the same period in 2004.
Sturdy growth rate imports of medical products and medicines
Imports of medical products and medicines from Germany have risen substantially in recent years and currently hold second place on the list of most important products imported. A decade ago the share of these products was an insignificant 1 percent, whereas in 2004 it has risen to over 4 percent, representing a value of almost 2 billion euro in 2004. Compared to 2003 imports rose by more than 36 percent.
Exports: petroleum products
With a 9 percent share, petroleum products are the most important products exported to Germany. The export of petroleum products to Germany amounted to more than 5 billion euro (+ 19 percent) last year. Computers and natural gas hold third place on the list of most important products exported to Germany, the same as ten years ago.