The ten most profitable export products combined account for 48 percent of total export earnings from goods made in the Netherlands. In 2015, total earnings through exports (in value added) of the top 10 products amounted to 53.3 bn euros or 7.9 percent of GDP.
Increasing importance of machineryBack in 1995 and 2005, machinery also took up first place on the list of top export products; it has played an increasingly large role in Dutch exports since then. Its share in total export earnings grew from 8.9 percent in 1995 to 11.5 percent in 2015. For example, exporters of chip manufacturing equipment have seen continually rising revenues, while natural gas and food preparations (e.g. baby milk powder) have likewise become much more predominant in Dutch exports over the past two decades.
Mineral fuels least profitable per euroIf all separate product groups are taken together, seven key groups can be distinguished which cover all Dutch domestic goods exports. These show that total earnings are slightly higher in exports of food and beverages than in machinery and equipment, although exports of the latter are higher in terms of turnover.
By comparing export earnings and export turnover, profits earned per euro of export turnover can be calculated as well. The highest profit per euro is found in exports of manufactured products and agricultural products (food, beverages, natural products and raw materials), namely between 65 and 73 euro cents.
Least profitable are mineral fuels (40 euro cents per euro of export turnover). This includes large volumes of petroleum derivatives (petrol and fuel oil) with a low value added in contrast with the lucrative exports of natural gas. The value added for these products is low because they are produced from crude oil that has to be imported, thus reducing profits on the Dutch export market.