Netherlands accounts for largest trade surplus in the eurozone

31/05/2012 15:00

Within the eurozone, the Dutch goods trade surplus is by far the largest compared to other euro countries (147 billion euro in 2011). The goods trade surplus with countries beyond the eurozone is much lower.

Trade balance eurozone, 2011

Trade balance eurozone, 2011

Quarter of GDP

The total value of goods exported by the Netherlands to other euro countries amounted to 294 billion euro last year . The value of imports from these countries was 147 billion euro, resulting in a trade surplus of 147 billion euro, i.e. nearly one quarter of the GDP.

Trade surplus Netherlands in eurozone, 2011

Trade surplus Netherlands in eurozone, 2011

Neighbouring countries contribute most to trade surplus

The 147 billion euro trade surplus is partly due to transit trade and re-exports of goods through the Netherlands to other European countries. The trade surplus with Germany, Belgium and France amounted to 116 billion euro last year, nearly 80 percent of the total trade surplus in the eurozone.

Total trade balance eurozone countries, 2011

Total trade balance eurozone countries, 2011

Trade surplus smaller with countries outside the eurozone

The bulk of goods imported by the Netherlands come from beyond the eurozone, making the Dutch trade surplus in relation to the entire world (nearly 45 billion euro or 7.5 percent of the GDP) considerably smaller.

With 43 billion euro, the Irish trade surplus is almost equal to the Dutch trade surplus, but the Irish economy is much smaller. Hence, the Irish trade surplus, expressed as a percentage of the GDP, is much higher. In only five euro countries exports exceed imports.

Hans Draper