Less beer exported in 2017

© CBS / Alrik Swagerman
Last year, Dutch beer exports declined by over 2 percent. After rounding, total beer exports came to 1.9 billion litres, 43 million litres less than in the previous year. At the same time, beer imports rose by 15 percent to 515 million litres. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in response to questions from Dutch broadcaster WNL.

In 2017, beer production in the Netherlands increased by 1.5 percent to 2.7 billion litres. Based on the assumption that breweries maintained the same quantities in stock, this means that beer consumption in the Netherlands was up by around 150 million litres relative to 2016; consumption stood at 1.3 billion litres in 2017, not including non-alcoholic beer.

Beer: production, imports, exports and consumption* (bn litres)
 20162017
Production2.6442.683
Imports0.4460.515
Exports1.9161.873
Consumption1.1741.325
* Consumption in this chart equals production plus imports minus exports.

Fifth largest beer producer in the EU

With a total sales value of 2.5 billion euros, the Netherlands was the fifth-largest beer manufacturer of the European Union in 2017, dropping one place in favour of Belgium. Germany topped the rankings at 5.6 billion euros, followed by the United Kingdom (4.2 billion euros). Sales soared in virtually all major beer-producing EU countries,particularly in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium. The sales value not only depends on fluctuations in production but also on price developments. In the case of the UK, the value (in euros) is also determined by the pound sterling exchange rate against the euro.

Largest EU beer producers in terms of production value (bn euros)
 20172016
Germany5.5965.544
United Kingdom4.1783.829
Spain3.453.414
Belgium2.7922.526
Netherlands2.5292.326
France2.2932.229
Poland1.8371.826

United States the main export market

Last year, the Dutch export value of beer dropped by 2.2 percent to 1.7 billion euros. The United States is by far the most important market abroad for beer from the Netherlands. In 2017, approximately 680 million euros worth of beer were exported to the US, i.e. almost 40 percent of total beer exports. After the US, the largest export destinations for Dutch beer were: France (150 million euros), Taiwan (80 million euros) and Canada (73 million euros). Compared to 2016, more beer was exported mainly to France, Canada, South Korea and Singapore.

Beer exports by country of destination, 2017 (million euros)
 Beer exports, 2017
United States678.9
France149.9
Taiwan80.5
Canada72.6
United Kingdom70.5
China65.5
Germany53.7
Belgium48.3
Italy33.7
Spain27.9
Other countries416


The value of Dutch beer exports is nearly five times that of beer imports, which stood at almost 360 million euros in 2017 (13 percent up on the previous year). Belgium is the main supplier, accounting for around 53 percent of total beer imports or 190 million euros in value. Germany comes in second at 72 million euros, followed at a great distance by France and the United Kingdom.

Beer imports by country of origin, 2017 (million euros)
 Beer imports, 2017
Belgium190.9
Germany71.6
France19.7
United Kingdom16.6
Italy11.9
Poland9.7
Denmark4.7
Spain4
Ireland3.5
United States2.7
Other countries23.3