Exports down by nearly 1 percent in December

© Hollandse Hoogte / Lex van Lieshout
In December 2020, the total volume of goods exports was down by 0.9 percent year-on-year, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In the previous three months, exports were still up on one year previously. In December, exports of minerals, petroleum products, machinery and appliances decreased in particular. Exports of chemical products, on the other hand, were higher than in December 2019.

In December, the volume of imports was 1.0 percent lower year-on-year. Imports of minerals and transport equipment were down in particular.

The CBS Exports Radar indicates that in February circumstances for exports are less unfavourable than they were in December.

Exports of goods (volume, adjusted for working days)
Year Month%-change (year-on-year %-change)
2017January1.6
2017February6.8
2017March8.3
2017April0.7
2017May4.6
2017June10.7
2017July7.1
2017August7.3
2017September7.9
2017October7
2017November7.1
2017December6.2
2018January4.8
2018February4.3
2018March3.1
2018April6.2
2018May5.3
2018June0.4
2018July2.7
2018August4
2018September3
2018October3.4
2018November0.4
2018December0.6
2019January2.2
2019February-0.3
2019March1.5
2019April1.7
2019May-0.1
2019June0.7
2019July-0.1
2019August3.4
2019September1.4
2019October6.3
2019November2.3
2019December4.5
2020January3.9
2020February1.7
2020March-4.6
2020April-13.3
2020May-11.8
2020June-3.2
2020July0
2020August-3.4
2020September0.7
2020October2.7
2020November1.1
2020December-0.9

Conditions for exports in February less unfavourable than in December

Every month, CBS also publishes updates on the circumstances for exports in the Exports Radar. Conditions are strongly affected by recent developments on the main export markets for Dutch domestic products and by the competitive position of the Netherlands. Although the Radar indicators show a strong correlation with export activity, improved circumstances are not necessarily translated into increased export growth.

According to the CBS Exports Radar, circumstances for exports in February are less unfavourable than in December. This is mainly because the year-on-year decline in German manufacturing output was smaller and because Dutch manufacturers were less pessimistic about their foreign orders. Furthermore, producer confidence increased in both Germany and the eurozone.

Goods exports account for approximately three-quarters of total exports. As for data on exports of services, these are not published monthly. Data on total exports are published quarterly and annually. Figures published in this news release are provisional and subject to revision.