Exports plunge once more

In March 2009, the volume of goods exports was more than 14 percent down on twelve months previously. The volume of goods imports decreased by nearly 12 percent. Volume figures have been corrected for the number of working days. March 2009 had two working days extra compared to March 2008.

For the third month running, the volume of exports was about 13 to 14 percent lower than one year previously. The decline is consistent with a dramatic output reduction. The capacity utilisation rate in Dutch manufacturing industry also dropped considerably. In April, manufacturers still felt very pessimistic about the amount of orders received from abroad. 

The value of exported goods totalled 26.3 billion euro, a nearly 17 percent drop relative to one year previously. The value of imports plunged by nearly 15 percent to 23.8 billion euro. This resulted in a trade surplus of 2.5 billion euro, i.e. 1.2 billion euro down on March 2008.

The value change of goods exports to EU countries exceeded the value change in exports to non-EU countries. The value of imports and exports of raw materials, mineral fuels and petroleum products dropped considerably. Imports and exports of food products, on the other hand, equalled the level of the same month a year ago.

Chiefly as a result of plummeting petroleum prices, import and export prices dropped by 8 and 7.5 percent respectively in March relative to one year previously. As a result, terms of trade of foreign goods slightly improved compared to March 2008.

Goods exports (volume)

Goods exports (volume)

More figures can be found on the theme page International trade.