Exports still low

In April 2009, the volume of goods exports was nearly 15 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. April 2009 had one working day fewer than April 2008.

For the fourth month running, the volume of exports was about 13 to 15 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 May and June, manufacturers still felt very pessimistic about the number of orders received from abroad. 

In April, the value of exported goods totalled 23.8 billion euro, a 25 percent drop compared with one year previously. The value change of goods exports to EU countries exceeded the value change in exports to non-EU countries. The value of imports plunged by 23 percent, to 21.5 billion euro. The value of imports and exports of mineral fuels in particular dropped sharply. The trade surplus was 2.3 billion euro, down from 3.9 billion euro one year previously.

Mainly as a result of plummeting petroleum and natural gas prices, import and export prices dropped by 11 and 10 percent respectively in April compared with one year previously. As a result, the terms of trade of foreign goods improved slightly compared with April 2008.

The figures on April 2009 published in this update have been adjusted from those published on 16 June 2009. The revision is based on new and more detailed information.

Goods exports (volume)

Goods exports (volume)

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