Half of imports from the UK not for domestic use

In 2018, the Netherlands imported 26.4 billion euros worth of goods from the United Kingdom. This amount was only higher in 2012 and 2013. Over half of the imports are intended for domestic consumption and production while slightly less than half is re-exported to other countries. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of the latest figures on international goods trade.

Last year, imports of mineral fuels such as crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas were good for 11 billion euros, i.e. 42 percent of total imports from the UK. This share was 24 percent in 2002 and 36 percent in 2017.

Within a period of one year, the import value increased by 13 percent to reach 26.4 billion euros in 2018, up from 23.3 billion euros in the previous year. The increase was most significant for crude oil (+1.9 billion euros), petroleum products (+412 million euros), propane and butane in liquid form (+58 million euros), reciprocating engines (+54 million euros) and vegetable refined oils and fats (+51 million euros). The import value of crude oil has risen due to an increase in both quantity and price.

Imports of goods from the United Kingdom (bn euros)
 Machinery and transport equipmentIndustrial productsChemical productsFood and raw materialsMineral fuels
20025.62.82.91.33.9
20035.02.62.81.33.3
20044.62.63.01.33.2
20054.52.73.31.23.8
20065.43.13.11.45.6
20074.83.13.61.56.9
20084.93.23.91.87.4
20094.52.53.51.45.7
20105.03.04.21.78.2
20114.93.64.62.29.2
20124.73.45.02.312.0
20134.63.75.42.311.6
20144.63.75.42.39.4
20153.94.04.12.26.3
20164.43.94.42.16.4
20174.93.93.92.38.3
20185.14.13.92.311.0

Mineral fuels mostly for own use

For 2017 and previous years, data are also available on the destination of Dutch imports from the UK. More than half are intended for Dutch consumption or production. This share rose slightly from 51.1 percent in 2015 to 51.5 percent in 2017.

Most commonly used for domestic use are mineral fuels (61 percent), followed by chemical products (57 percent). Less often intended for the domestic market are food and raw materials (48 percent), industrial products (43 percent) and machinery and transport equipment (40 percent).

Imports from the United Kingdom for domestic use (% of total imports from the UK)
 20172015
Total51.551.1
Mineral fuels60.857.0
Chemical products57.055.6
Food and raw materials48.451.1
Industrial products42.746.0
Machinery and transport equipment39.842.3

Petroleum and cars often for domestic use

Crude oil, petroleum products and other mineral fuels (e.g. natural gas) account for the largest share in imports from the UK. Approximately 2.9 billion euros in crude oil imports out of a total of 3.4 billion euros is destined for the local market and around 0.5 billion euros for re-exports. Petroleum products show the reverse: 0.7 billion euros in imports is for own use and 2.2 billion euros for re-exports.

As for the other mineral fuels, e.g. natural gas (72 percent), and cars (89 percent) and shoes (52 percent), the bulk of imports is for domestic use. When looking at other goods in the top ten of imported goods, the Netherlands is more often a transit point than a final destination. This applies to pharmaceuticals (41 percent for own use), telecommunication devices such as telephones (13 percent), jet engines and turbines, office equipment (both 2 percent) and lorries (25 percent).

Most imported goods from the United Kingdom, 2017 (bn euros)
 Imports for domestic useImports destined for re-exports
Crude oil2.8710.519
Petroleum products0.7312.163
Other mineral fuels1.4520.575
Pharmaceuticals0.6680.962
Telecommunication devices0.0900.577
Cars0.4020.049
Jet engines, turbines0.0060.329
Office equipment0.0060.281
Lorries0.0700.215
Shoes0.1450.132

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.