Non-EU exports vital for Friesland and North Brabant

05/04/2016 15:00
According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), Friesland and North Brabant are the biggest exporters of goods to non-EU countries. The province of Friesland accounts for 45 percent of total export of goods. Dairy products constitute the bulk of Friesland’s exports to countries outside the EU. North Brabant occupies second place. This province exports microchip machines to countries like South Korea and Taiwan. Exports from Groningen are the least oriented towards non-EU countries.

Exports of goods to non-EU countries: part of total export of goods by province, 2014

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.

Exports of goods to non-EU countries: share of total Dutch exports of goods, 2014

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.

Imports of goods to non-EU countries: part of total import of goods by province, 2014

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.

Imports of goods from non-EU countries: part of total Dutch import of goods, 2014

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).

Trade provinces with Germany: imports and exports, 2014

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.