Less industrial waste exported to China

© Hollandse Hoogte / David Rozing
In the first eight months of 2018, Dutch exports of industrial products to China amounted to nearly 4.8 billion euros. This represents a year-on-year decrease of 860 million euros, or 15 percent. The decrease is partly explained by reduced imports of industrial waste by China, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of the latest trade data.


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The decrease breaks the long-term trend of increasing exports of Dutch-manufactured goods to China. In 2017, these amounted to slightly under 9 billion euros. China’s share in Dutch goods exports had increased from 0.9 to 3.4 percent between 2002 and 2017; the share declined by 0.8 percentage points to 2.6 percent in the first eight months of 2018. The weaker exports to China coincide with a rising trend in total exports of Dutch-manufactured goods, which increased by 4 percent.

Share of China in exports of Dutch-manufactured goods (%)
 Share of China in exports of Dutch-manufactured goods
20020.90
20030.89
20041.19
20051.19
20061.27
20071.38
20081.26
20091.85
20101.80
20112.16
20122.38
20132.37
20142.44
20152.68
20163.26
20173.44
2018*2.65
* 2018: January to August inclusive

60 percent less waste

The reduced exports to China are partly due to the decline in industrial waste exports. Between January and August 2017, Dutch exports of industrial waste still amounted to 830 million euros. This was down to 340 million euros twelve months later, representing a decline by 490 million euros or 60 percent). In 2018, exports to China of mineral waste, metal waste, paper waste and plastics make up 7 percent of total industrial exports to the country.

Exports of industrial waste to China (million euros)
 MineralsPaperMetalPlastics
January to August 2017 inclusive47815718015
January to August 2018 inclusive147771180

Baby milk powder at number 1

The most important export product going to China in 2018 is baby milk powder. Up to and including August 2018, the value of baby milk powder exports to China nearly reached 700 million euros, representing an increase by 16 percent year-on-year. In addition to baby milk powder, Dutch exports included 440 million euros worth of other food products such as meat and dairy.

Dutch-manufactured exports to China, main products (million euros)
 January to August 2018 inclusiveJanuary to August 2017 inclusive
Baby milk powder695600
Specialised machinery474792
Waste342831
Plastics in primary forms 315361
Measuring and precision instruments224172
Medicines186176
Meat158202
Oils and fats121121
Dairy108172
Passenger cars95144

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