The volume of goods imports into the Netherlands was 7 percent higher in September 2005 than in September 2004. The volume of exports was 5 percent higher than twelve months previously. This resulted in a slightly smaller volume of exports in the third quarter than the second quarter, according to provisional figures from Statistics Netherlands.
As prices of both imports and exports were 3 percent higher in September 2005 than in the same month last year, the value of imports and exports rose by more. The total value of imported goods was 11 percent higher at 22.0 billion euro, the value of exported goods was 8 percent higher at 25.1 billion euro. This put the balance of trade at 3.1 billion euro, slightly smaller than in the same month last year.
Higher imports from non-EU countries
The value of imported goods from countries outside the EU was 10.0 billion euro in September 2005. This is 20 percent higher than in September 2004. Exports to countries outside the EU amounted to 5.7 billion euro, 14 percent up on the same month last year.
The value of goods imported from EU countries was 12.0 billion euro, 3 percent more than in September 2004. Exports to EU countries came to 19.4 billion euro, that is 7 percent up on last year.
Import value from China higher than from US
Fr the first time ever, the value of goods imported from China exceeded that of goods from the United States. This makes China the most important country outside the EU as far as imports are concerned. The value of imports from China was 44 percent higher in the third quarter than in the same period last year. Manufactured products, machines, and transport equipment in particular were imported from China. Many of these products left the Netherlands again as re-exports.
High value growth for raw materials and mineral fuels
The trade value of raw materials and mineral fuels was substantially higher in the third quarter of 2005. Imports of these goods were 28 percent up on the third quarter of 2004. One important reason for this was the increase in oil prices, partly as a consequence of the recent hurricanes in North and Central America. Raw materials and mineral fuels were mainly imported from Russia in the third quarter of 2005. Exports of raw materials and mineral fuels were 26 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2004, most of them going to Germany.