Growth in exports to the United Kingdom lagging behind

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2019, Dutch goods exports to the United Kingdom represented a value of 40 billion euros, 0.5 percent less than in 2018. This means that, for the third consecutive year, the growth of the export value in Dutch goods trade with the UK is lagging behind the development of total Dutch goods trade. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of provisional figures on Dutch goods trade.

[video: https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/video/313b4f9dd208431bba5283c525a15892]
(English subtitles available) 

Last year, exports of Dutch-manufactured goods to the UK rose by 0.9 percent year-on-year to a total of 20.5 billion euros. Re-exports stood at approximately 19.4 billion euros, down by 2 percent relative to 2018.

Relative to 2015 - the year prior to the Brexit referendum - the value of Dutch exports to the UK was 9.4 percent higher in 2019. Over the same period, the total value of Dutch goods exports grew by 23 percent. In 2015, exports to the UK still occupied a share of 8.7 percent in total Dutch goods exports. Four years later - on the eve of Brexit - this had declined to 7.7 percent.

Exports of Dutch-manufactured products to the UK have increased by 9 percent over the past four years. In the same period, total domestic exports increased by 18 percent. Re-exports to the UK were up by 10 percent, while total re-exports saw a much more substantial increase at 30 percent.

Export developments in goods trade, 2019 relative to 2015
ExportTotal (% change)European Union (% change)United Kingdom (% change)
Total exports23199
Re-exports302510
Domestic exports18139

22 percent are agricultural goods

Last year, the Netherlands exported 8.7 billion euros worth of agricultural products to the UK. With a share of 22 percent, agricultural exports play an important role in total Dutch exports to the UK. After Germany and Belgium, the UK is the third largest export destination for agricultural products. Nearly three-quarters of these exports are manufactured domestically.

Over the previous four years, Dutch domestic car exports rose to 560 million euros. The export value of petroleum and natural gas was considerably higher as well, partly due to sharp price increases.

Main export products to the United Kingdom
GoederenDomestic exports, 2019 (bn euros)Re-exports, 2019 (bn euros)Domestic exports, 2015 (bn euros)Re-exports, 2015 (bn euros)
Petroleum and natural gas2.5331.542
2.2860.881
Telephones0.3202.805
0.6123.015
Vegetables and fruit1.4070.556
1.3970.552
Medicines1.0380.681
0.7720.783
Measuring and precision instruments0.2151.146
0.2980.785
Meat1.1420.212
1.2780.158
Flowers and plants1.1190.088
1.0490.052
Computers and laptops0.1401.005
0.2550.816
Office equipment0.0650.913
0.1281.082
Plastics in primary forms0.7860.184
0.9420.138
Specialised machinery0.4130.435
0.3500.317
Passenger cars0.5610.117
0.2210.010
Iron and steel0.3610.200
0.5950.170
Lorries0.5560.001
0.4940.001
Engines, generators0.3060.210
0.2900.071

3 in 10 exporters export to the United Kingdom

Out of a total of over 67 thousand companies with exports exceeding 5 thousand euros, 20 thousand companies exported goods to the UK in 2018. This is over 5 percent up on 2015. The increase is less substantial than the rise in the total number of exporting companies. This number was up by 10 percent relative to three years previously. Of the ten most important export destinations, the number of companies with exports to the UK saw the lowest increase.

Number of exporters1) by destination, 2018 relative to 2015
LandNumber of exporters (% change)
United States25.4
China17.9
Spain14.4
Italy9.4
France9.3
Poland8.2
Germany7.3
Belgium6.9
Sweden5.8
United Kingdom5.3
1) Companies with an export value of ≥5 thousand euros per year

The Netherlands ranks 4th

After Germany, the United States and China, the Netherlands is the fourth largest supplier of goods to the UK. During the first eleven months of 2019, UK imports (including transit goods) amounted to 570 billion euros. Just under half (49 percent) came from the EU. The Netherlands’ share in UK imports stood at 7.9 percent in this period, up from 7.5 percent in the same period in 2015.

Value of UK imports by country of origin
LandJan-Nov, 2019 (bn euros)Jan-Nov, 2015 (bn euros)
Germany7078
United States5748
China5451
Netherlands4539
France3130
Belgium2727
Switzerland228
Italy2120
Spain1818
Norway1616
Source: CBS, Eurostat

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union as of 1 February 2020. In a special dashboard, Statistics Netherlands shows the main indicators for the economic relationship between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands: the Brexit Monitor.

Sources

Related items