Modest growth for exports

The volume of exports of goods was 2.0 percent up in April 2014 from April 2013. The growth was slightly more substantial than in the preceding months, when the relatively mild weather conditions slowed down exports growth. In the first months of 2014, the foreign demand for natural gas was considerably lower than twelve months previously. In April, the negative effect of the weather conditions was more modest. The volume of imported goods was 1.2 percent up in April 2014 from April 2013. In March, imports had grown by 3.1 percent. Volume figures have been adjusted for the number of working days.

Manufacturing output up

Both exports of products made in the Netherlands and re-exports of goods were higher in April 2014 than in April 2013. Statistics Netherlands announced earlier this month that manufacturing output was up from twelve months previously for the seventh consecutive month. Dutch manufacturers were positive about their competitive position on the foreign market in the first quarter.

Exports of goods (volume adjusted for working days)

Exports of goods (volume adjusted for working days)

36 billion euros worth of goods exported

The value of exported goods totalled 36.1 billion euros in April, i.e. 2.5 percent up from one year previously. The value of imported goods increased by 1.3 percent in April to 31.6 billion euros. As a result, the trade surplus amounted to 4.5 billion euros (0.5 billion euros up from April 2013).

The trade value of imports and exports of mineral fuels dropped significantly relative to twelve months previously, but the trade value of manufactured products, machinery and transport equipment was substantially higher. The value of trade with EU-countries improved relative to April 2013, whereas the value of trade with non-EU countries remained fairly stable.

Import and export prices down

In April, import and export prices were below the level of one year previously. Import and export prices declined by 1.8 percent.

Circumstances for Dutch exports in June the same as in May

According to June’s Export Radar, circumstances for Dutch exports remained stable relative to the preceding month. Circumstances for exports deteriorated marginally compared with March and April. This is mainly due to a slowdown in the growth rate of German manufacturing output and to the fact that Dutch manufacturers were less pleased with their foreign order positions. By means of six indicators, the Exports Radar shows whether circumstances for Dutch exports have become more or less favourable.

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

For more information on economic indicators, see the Economic Monitor.