From a national perspective, North Brabant also accounts for the biggest exports to non-EU countries (25 percent), followed by North and South Holland. Nearly half of exports to non-EU countries come from these provinces. Friesland’s smaller economy accounts for 2.5 percent of Dutch exports to faraway destinations, but for all Dutch provinces, the EU is the most important export market.
Import natural gas from Norway and Russia
Unlike the other provinces, the major part of goods (more than 60 percent) imported by North Holland, Zeeland, South Holland and Groningen comes from countries outside the EU. Groningen imports large volumes of gas from Norway and Russia. Zeeland imports large amounts of oil from Russia.
In absolute terms, North and South Holland import many goods from non-EU countries. The vicinity of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the port of Rotterdam play a part in this respect. A substantial part of goods arriving in North and South Holland are re-exported to the European hinterland. After North and South Holland, North Brabant is the biggest importer of non-EU goods, but its share is much smaller than in exports of goods to non-EU countries.
Germany largest trading partner for all Dutch provinces
If the net result of imports and exports of goods is taken into account, Germany is the most important trading partner for all Dutch provinces. Germany is also the biggest export partner for all provinces. For four Dutch provinces Germany is not the the largest supplier of goods, i.e. Groningen (Norway), Limburg (Belgium), North Holland (China) and Zeeland (Russia).
Groningen leans heavily on trade with Germany. Over 30 percent of goods trade is with Germany. The main export product is natural gas. With respect to imports, Germany is Groningen’s third largest trading partner after Norway and Russia. Natural gas extraction was cut down in 2015, but this had little effect on trade with Germany. Groningen is still very much geared towards Germany. As a trading partner, Germany is least important for South Holland, Zeeland and North Holland.