Decline in exports to the United Kingdom

18/08/2017 15:00
In the first half of 2017, goods exports to the United Kingdom amounted to 19.4 billion euros, a 2 percent decline relative to the previous year. The total value of exported goods grew by 12 percent to 234 billion euros in the first two quarters, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.

Exports of Dutch-made goods to the United Kingdom dropped by 7 percent to 9.9 billion euros in the first six months of 2017. By contrast, a higher export volume was realised in the first half of 2016, partly due to supplying an oil platform. If this incidence is not taken into consideration, export levels of Dutch products would have been virtually the same in these two periods. Re-exports were up by 3 percent compared to the first six months of 2016.

Goods trade with the United Kingdom was affected by a devaluation of the British pound in the first two quarters of this year. Compared to last year, the euro was 10 percent more expensive for British importers in the period from January to June 2017.

Export levels to the UK lagging behind

In comparison with exports of Dutch goods to the other 26 EU countries, exports to the United Kingdom lagged behind in the first half of 2017. The value of Dutch manufactured goods exported to the European Union excluding the UK was up by 11 percent in January-June 2017 relative to the same period in 2016. In 2015 and 2016, however, the level of exports to the United Kingdom developed more favourably than to other parts of the EU.

Over 7.5 percent of exported goods produced in the Netherlands are destined for the United Kingdom. It is therefore the third export destination, after Germany and Belgium.

Substantial decline in transport equipment

Exports of transport equipment to the United Kingdom were nearly 800 million euros down from the first half of 2016. This can be attributed to the single delivery of an oil platform mentioned earlier. In addition, there was a drop in exports of tractive units for semi-trailers: by nearly 200 million euros. More dairy products were exported mainly due to higher output prices. Higher export levels were also recorded in the fruit and vegetables sector, which in part can be explained by an export growth in tomatoes (22 million euros).

In the first half of this year, 1.3 billion euros worth of mineral fuels were exported. Road vehicles constitute the second largest category of export products. Substantial levels of agricultural products are also destined for the United Kingdom.