Export earnings grow less rapidly than total export value

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Total export earnings from goods produced in the Netherlands rose by 39 percent between 2020 and 2022, while total export value rose by 52 percent. This means that earnings per euro of export value fell by 5 cents. This is according to new analysis by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In 2022, the Netherlands earned 53 cents for every one euro of goods produced in the Netherlands that were exported. In 2020, that was 58 cents. It was the sharp increase in import prices for energy and raw materials, in particular, that led to this fall in export earnings per euro of export value. Export prices also rose during this period, but less rapidly than import prices.

Changes in earnings from exports, export value and earnings per euro of export value
 2020 (2020=100)2021 (2020=100)2022 (2020=100)
Earnings from exports100119139
Export value100123152
Earnings per euro of export value1009791

Paper industry earned 11 cents less per euro of export value

The paper industry has been the most affected by falling earnings from exports: from 57 cents per euro in 2020 to 50 cents in 2021 and 46 cents in 2022. The main reasons for this were higher costs for energy, raw materials and transport.

The pharmaceuticals industry and chemicals industry also saw their earnings per euro of export value fall, mainly due to elevated energy prices. With the exception of the energy sector itself, the chemicals industry is the most energy-intensive of all sectors, in relative terms, and it has therefore been significantly impacted by the rise in energy prices since 2020. The pharmaceuticals industry is, in turn, heavily dependent on the chemicals industry at both the national and international levels. Primary agriculture is another sector that is highly energy-dependent, particularly horticulture.

The mineral extraction industry and the petroleum industry have, on balance, benefited from the sharp rise in energy prices. These sectors have actually seen their earnings per euro of export value rise.

Change in earnings per euro of goods produced in the Netherlands exported, 2022 vs. 2020
 Earnings (euro)
Mineral extraction0.10
Petroleum industry0.07
Machinery and equipment0.00
Wholesale trade0.00
Motor vehicles and trailers-0.01
Food, beverage and tobacco sector-0.05
Rubber and plastic production-0.05
Metal products-0.06
Other transportation equipment-0.06
Other industry-0.07
Electronic equipment-0.07
Primary agriculture-0.09

Mineral extraction industry has the highest earnings per euro on exports

The mineral extraction industry earned the most per euro of export value on goods produced in the Netherlands in 2022. The sector saw an export margin of 95 cents. This is largely because almost no imports are required in order to export natural gas extracted in the Netherlands (onshore or offshore). The wholesale trade sector (82 cents) and primary agriculture (71 cents) also have relatively high earnings per euro of exports for goods produced in the Netherlands.

The petroleum industry’s export margin on petroleum products is relatively low, by contrast, at 18 cents per euro. This margin is earned on the processing of crude oil from abroad, and the associated high import costs mean that export earnings are low.

Earnings per euro of goods produced in the Nethlerlands exported, 2022
 Earnings (euro)
Mineral extraction0.95
Wholesale trade0.82
Primary agriculture0.71
Machinery and equipment0.63
Metal products0.61
Electronic equipment0.58
Other industry0.58
Rubber and plastic production0.54
Food, beverage and tobacco sector0.50
Other transportation equipment0.46
Motor vehicles and trailers0.43
Petroleum industry0.18

Total export earnings have risen sharply

The Netherlands’ total earnings from exports rose by 39 percent between 2020 and 2022 as the value of exports rose sharply as a result of rising export prices. The highest growth was seen in mineral extraction (at 10.6 billion euros), machinery and equipment (at 6.2 billion euros), the petroleum industry and the chemical industry (at 5.4 billion euros each). Earnings from exports in primary agriculture remained flat and earnings from the export of transportation equipment actually fell.

In 2022, the Netherlands earned the most from exports by the food, drink and tobacco sector, with total earnings from exports of 27.2 billion euros.

Earnings on the export of goods produced in the Netherlands
 2022 (bn euro )2020 (bn euro )
Food, beverage and tobacco sector27.223.1
Wholesale trade21.517.0
Machinery and equipment21.315.0
Mineral extraction12.51.9
Primary agriculture9.79.7
Petroleum industry7.01.6
Other industry5.54.7
Motor vehicles and trailers4.34.2
Metal products3.82.9
Rubber and plastic production3.63.0
Electronic equipment2.92.4
Other transportation equipment2.83.4