Most raw materials imported from Europe

15/11/2012 15:00

The Netherlands obtains 68 percent of its raw materials from elsewhere. Two thirds of the raw materials come from European countries.

68 percent of Dutch raw material requirements met by imports

The Netherlands imported 161 billion kilogrammes of raw materials for domestic consumption in 2010. These are primarily fossil fuels such as crude oil and natural gas, and to a lesser degree minerals (sand, gravel), biomass (wheat, soy beans) and metal ores. Imports provide 68 percent of the need for raw materials.

Crude oil is mainly used in refineries in the production of petrol and diesel. Wheat and soy beans are often used in fodder. The Dutch blast furnaces depend entirely on imports of iron ore. Domestic raw materials are mainly agricultural products such as potatoes, sugar beet and also natural gas, sand and clay.

Need and imports of raw materials in the Netherlands, 2010

Need and imports of raw materials in the Netherlands, 2010

Europe is the main provider of raw materials

Two thirds of the imports of raw materials come from European countries. Much of the fossil fuels such as crude oil come from Russia and Norway, sand and gravel from the neighbouring countries, grains from France. Metal ores and soy beans mainly come from Brazil.

Imports from raw material by continent, 2010

Imports from raw material by continent, 2010

Indirect dependence on raw materials

Besides raw materials the Netherlands also imports semi-manufactured goods and finished products. To make these products, foreign producers require raw materials. So the Netherlands is also indirectly dependent on the raw materials used abroad. These indirect imports of raw materials equal three times the Dutch imports of raw materials.

For metals they even equal nine times Dutch imports because much metal ore is requires for the imported metal containing products such as cars. Likewise oil and gas are used extensively in the products imported by the Netherlands, because energy is required in the production of nearly every kind of goods.

Raw materials incorporated in imported goods and the imports of raw materials, 2010

Raw materials incorporated in imported goods and the imports of raw materials, 2010

Roel Delahaye and Oscar Lemmers

Source: Environmental accounts of the Netherlands 2011