Dutch domestic exports to the UK recording decline

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2018, the total value of Dutch-manufactured goods exported to the United Kingdom dropped by 170 million euros to 20.2 billion euros, representing a year-on-year decrease of 1 percent. For the second consecutive year, domestic exports to the UK lagged behind those going to other destinations. This is evident from provisional figures on Dutch goods trade which have been released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Last year, the total value of Dutch industrial goods exports rose by 5.6 percent. As a result of this development, the UK’s share in total domestic exports has declined even further.

The opposite trend was seen only two years previously in 2016. That year, domestic exports to the UK still went up by 7 percent while total domestic exports were in decline. In 2017 as well, exports to the UK fell behind exports to other countries, despite a one-percent increase that year.
Exports of Dutch-manufactured goods (year-on-year % change)
 TotalEuropean UnionUnited Kingdom
2016-2-27
20171081
201865-1

Share of exports to the UK falling

The relative importance of the UK in Dutch goods exports has been diminishing for some time. At the start of this century, still around 10 percent of domestic exports were destined for the UK. This was 7.8 percent in 2017 and 7.3 percent in 2018. Nevertheless, the UK was still the third largest destination for Dutch domestic exports last year.

Re-exports increased

In 2018, re-exports to the United Kingdom increased by 3.3 percent to over 19.4 billion euros, versus a one-percent growth rate in 2017. Even in terms of re-exports, however, overall growth in re-exports over the past two years was more significant than in re-exports to the UK. Overall growth stood at 11 percent in 2017 and 6 percent in 2018.

More pharmaceutical exports to the UK

Last year, Dutch-manufactured exports to the UK included 6.8 billion euros worth of agricultural products - approximately the same value as in 2017 - putting the UK third as export destination for domestic agricultural products, after Germany and Belgium.

Manufacturers of computers and pharmaceuticals were doing good business in the UK last year, with exports rising by over 100 million euros. At the same time, oil and gas exports decreased by 80 million euros to over 2.3 billion euros.
Top Dutch-manufactured exports to the United Kingdom (million euros)
 201820172016
Oil and gas231923982370
Fruit and vegetables139713861369
Meat115311761178
Flowers and plants106010861087
Pharmaceuticals951844491
Plastics in primary forms818878803
Passenger cars687673360
Iron and steel506561565
Paper and cardboard405401426
Motors and generators364282291
Specialised machinery354387375
Beverages352328322
Oils and fats290319231
Computers283176205
Lorries277352675

The Netherlands is an important goods supplier

Internationally, the Netherlands ranks fourth as goods supplier to the United Kingdom after Germany, the US and China. Total goods imports by the United Kingdom had a value of 570 billion euros last year. Slightly over half (52 percent) of these goods were from inside the EU. Together, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany account for well over half of these EU exports to the UK.
Main import origin countries for the United Kingdom (bn euros)
 201820172016
Germany777878
United States555454
China535353
Netherlands474542
France313130
Belgium302828
Italy222121
Norway222116
Spain181819
Ireland161716
Source: CBS, Eurostat


The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union. In a special dashboard, Statistics Netherlands is showing the main indicators for economic relationships between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands: the Brexit Monitor.

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