Dutch-Russian trade: mystery of missing 4.5 billion euro unravelled

15/11/2005 14:00

The official state visit by Russian president Vladimir Putin to the Netherlands early November gave rise to confusion regarding the value of trade between both countries in 2004. Putin claimed trade between the Russian Federation and the Netherlands approximated 14 billion euro, whereas Statistics Netherlands reported a value in excess of 9 billion euro over 2004. The gap was caused by the fact that Russian figures also covered transit trade and trade of goods stored in bonded warehouses. These flows of goods are not included in Dutch imports and exports statistics, because the goods do not belong to the free flow of goods in the European Union or because they are not owned by a Dutch citizen.

Imports from Russia

Imports from Russia

Oil imports three-quarters of total imports

Compared to 2003, Dutch imports from Russia increased by 32 percent to 6.1 billion euro in 2004. More than three-quarters of Russian imports consist of crude oil and
oil-related products. The value of crude oil imported from Russia rose by 60 percent to 3.4 billion euro. The value of oil-related products imported by the Netherlands totalled 1.4 billion euro, a decrease by 2 percent compared to 2003.

Exports to Russia

Exports to Russia

Exports to Russia 15 percent up

Dutch exports of goods to the Russian Federation amounted to 3.2 billion euro last year, almost half a billion more than in 2003. With 20 percent, computers were the most important export article. In 2004 the Netherlands exported computers worth 664 million euro to Russia, a 15 percent increase on 2003. The Netherlands mainly acts as a distributor. Other important export products are microprocessors (216 million euro; +118 percent) and vegetables and fruit (225 million euro; -16 percent).

Wiel Packbier