The Netherlands EU's largest producer of cocoa butter

In 2006, the Netherlands imported nearly 450 million kg of cocoa beans worth more than 550 million euro. The value of the extracted cocoa butter totalled 650 million euro. The Netherlands produces much more cocoa butter than other EU countries. Most derivative cocoa products are exported.

Imports of cocoa beans valued at half a billion euro

In 2006, the import value of cocoa beans was approximately 550 million euro. Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria are the major suppliers of cocoa beans. Imported beans are largely processed into chocolate and semi-finished products like cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The Netherlands also imported semi-finished cocoa products and chocolate with a total value of 800 million euro in 2006.

Imports of cocoa beans


The Netherlands produces 200 million kg of cocoa butter

The Netherlands is by far the most important producer of cocoa butter in the EU. In 2006, the Netherlands produced some 200 million kg of cocoa butter, worth more than 650 million euro. Runner-up France lagged far behind with 320 million euro. Cocoa butter is the basis for the manufacture of chocolate products, but also for cosmetic products.

Five largest cocoa butter producers in the EU, 2006


Large share exported

Through exports, Dutch manufacturers and traders in cocoa products create value added. In 2006, the Netherlands exported cocoa products with a value of 2 billion euro. Cocoa butter and chocolate had the highest export value, both accounting for about 700 million euro. Approximately one quarter were exported to Germany.

Exports of cocoa-based products, 2006


Chocolate increasingly in demand

In 2006, Dutch consumers spent nearly 600 million euro on chocolate products. The average Dutchman ate 4.75 kg of chocolate in 2006, over 100 grams more than in 2005.

Hans Draper