Over the past fifty years, Dutch international goods trade - both imports and exports - has increased at a global level. Goods imports from Africa have not held pace with total imports. In the period 2011-2020, Africa’s share in Dutch imports stood at 3.1 percent. Whereas total Dutch goods imports fell by 7.8 percent last year, imports from Africa declined by 10.8 percent, resulting in a lower share in total goods imports, namely 2.6 percent.
The African share in total Dutch goods exports has stood at an average 3.2 percent over the past decade. Last year, exports to Africa were down by 10.4 percent, a stronger decline than total Dutch exports (-6.5 percent). Just as with imports, the contraction is primarily due to the coronavirus crisis as well as lower oil prices. Trade with Africa includes a relatively high share of oil and oil products.
|Jaar||Total imports (1970=100)||Imports from Africa (1970=100)||Total exports (1970=100)||Exports to Africa (1970=100)|
Mainly supplier of raw materials
Over 86 percent of the import value in trade with Africa comprises food, mineral fuels and other raw materials. Food imports partly concern raw materials such as cocoa beans, which are processed into chocolate in the Netherlands. The import package from Africa has a very different composition than the average import package, which contains 28 percent raw materials, food and mineral fuels. The main imported goods from Africa include crude oil, cocoa beans, fruits, cut flowers and aluminium.
|IMPORT||Food and beverages (%)||Raw materials and natural products (%)||Mineral fuels (%)||Chemical products (%)||Machinery (%)||Transport equipment (%)||Manufactured articles (%)|
Largest goods supplier is Nigeria
In 2020, Dutch goods imports from Africa amounted to 10.9 billion euros. This is roughly equivalent to the value of imports from Italy, our 7th largest goods supplier. The main African import partner for the Dutch domestic market is Nigeria, followed by South Africa, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon. Together, these five countries accounted for 61 percent of total goods imports from Africa last year.
|IMPORT||Nigeria (bn euros)||South Africa (bn euros)||Ivory Coast (bn euros)||Ghana (bn euros)||Cameroon (bn euros)||Other countries (bn euros)|
Relatively high share of oil products in exports
Africa holds a share of 37 percent in Dutch mineral fuel exports. In the entire Dutch export package, mineral fuels account for 9 percent. Goods imported by Africa from the Netherlands mainly include oil products such as petrol and diesel, machinery, dairy, medicines and other chemical products.
|EXPORT||Food and beverages (%)||Raw materials and natural products (%)||Mineral fuels (%)||Chemical products (%)||Machinery (%)||Transport equipment (%)||Manufactured articles (%)|
Nigeria and South Africa the main export destinations
In 2020, Dutch exports to African countries amounted to 15.0 billion euros. This is comparable to the value of exports to Spain, our 7th largest export market. The main African export destinations are Nigeria and South Africa, followed by Egypt, Togo and Morocco. Nearly 62 percent of Dutch exports to Africa go to these five countries.
|EXPORT||Nigeria (bn euros)||South Africa (bn euros)||Egypt (bn euros)||Togo (bn euros)||Morocco (bn euros)||Other countries (bn euros)|
For more details on trade flows between the Netherlands and Africa, read the Executive Summary (in English) that is included in the Internationalisation Monitor on Africa.