Imports from China rising more slowly

11/09/2008 15:00

Dutch companies increase their imports of Chinese goods almost every year. However, since 2004 the value of goods imported from China has risen by less each year.

Imports from China tripled since 2001

Imports from China (including Hong Kong) have grown substantially in recent years. In 2001, 10 billion euro worth of Chinese goods were imported into the Netherlands. In 2007 this had risen to 28 billion euro. The increase in the value of imports is levelling off, though. In the first half of 2008, the increase was only 4 percent. This was smaller than the increase in the value of imports from other countries, which was 12 percent on average.

One reason that the value of imports from other countries is growing faster is the large share of petroleum and food imported from these countries. World prices of these commodities have risen substantially since the summer of 2007.

Value of goods imports

Value of goods imports

China accounts for 7 percent of imports

Imports from China accounted for 7 percent of all imports in the Netherlands in the first half of 2008. This makes China one of the most important trading partners of the Netherlands. Only Germany, Belgium and the United States supply more goods to the Dutch.

Origin of goods imports, first six months 2008

Origin of goods imports, first six months 2008

Slower growth in market share

The main products imported from China include computers, television and computer screens, clothes and shoes. The share of Chinese goods in Dutch imports of these products has increased heftily in the last seven years. In 2001, for example, only 2 percent of imported TV and computer screens came from China. In the first half of 2008 this had risen to around one third. The market share is growing at a slower rate than in previous years, however. The same is true for Chinese computers, clothes and shoes.

About two-thirds of goods imported into the Netherlands  from China are not intended for the Dutch market. They are immediately re-exported to other countries.

Market share of Chinese imports per product

Market share of Chinese imports per product

Oscar Lemmers