Less refrigerated meat shipped to the Netherlands

Last year overseas imports of cooled and frozen goods in containers declined for the first time in five years. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports that 7.3 million tons of these goods were unloaded in Dutch seaports, a decrease by more than 5 percent compared to 2014. The volume of meat imported into the Netherlands fell considerably.

Last year 28 thousand refrigerated containers holding more than 600 thousand tons of products (mainly food products but also medicines, electronic appliances and film reels) arrived in Dutch seaports. The controlled climate in special refrigerated containers (so-called reefer containers) will protect cargo against temperature changes during transport.

Not all products arriving in Dutch seaports are in fact destined for the Dutch market. The largest part is distributed to other countries throughout Europe via Dutch seaports. From all over Europe goods are shipped to Dutch ports and subsequently exported to other continents. CBS cannot provide a breakdown between cargo destined for the Netherlands and cargo destined for re-exports.

Overseas imports in reefer containers
 Cargo weightNumber of containers (right-hand axis)

Less meat imported

The volume of deep-frozen meat imported into the Netherlands fell significantly last year. This category, accounting for about 16 percent of cargo in reefer containers slumped by more than 20 percent. Imports of poultry (chicken and turkey) fell by nearly 300 thousand tons in 2015, but with a total import of 500 thousand tons, poultry is still the most imported type of meat. Dutch imports of other types of meat, including beef and pork remained almost unchanged.

Fish and dairy imports were also down. Imports of non-food products in reefer containers also declined, by 15 percent.

Fruit accounts for more than 50 percent of reefer imports and grew by nearly 3 percent in 2015. Vegetable imports also increased.

Overseas imports of cooled and frozen products
 fruitmeat and meat productsfishnon-foodvegetablesother food unknown

Brazil largest meat exporter

With more than 500 thousand tons, Brazil was by far the largest exporter of meat in containers last year, although the volume was 146 thousand tons below the level of 2014.
The import of frozen meat from France to Dutch seaports has come to an almost complete standstill. Perhaps, exporters now use other seaports in France or Europe for intercontinental transport. In that case, transport to large container ports like Rotterdam is no longer necessary.

Deep-frozen meat by country of origin
 BrazilFranceIrelandSingaporeCanadaOther countries