The economic importance of national exports has declined
Dutch manufactured exports generated 119.8 billion euros in revenue last year, 7.6% more than in 2015. However, as the GDP grew at more than twice that rate during during this period, the contribution of national exports to GDP increased from 16.1 to 15.0%. . Due to sharply reduced natural gas extraction, Dutch revenues from natural gas exports increased from around € 7 billion to € 2 billion during this period. If incomes had remained unchanged, the decrease in the importance of these exports would have been about half.
Decline in export share for most goods in 2020
About three-quarters of revenues from transport equipment, machinery and equipment, and chemicals are due to exports. However, most of the income related to manufactured goods such as clothing, games and printed products is due to domestic consumption. In 2020, the export orientation of agricultural products, fuels and raw materials was close to the average for all goods, i.e. 61%.
Over the past year, the share of exports in total product receipts (domestic sales and exports combined) declined in almost all categories of goods; between 2019 and 2020, the contribution of exports to product revenues only increased in the category of transport equipment, e.g. ships and boats.
|Everything is fine||60.8||62.6||62.5|
|Machines and devices||74.1||74.9||75.3|
|Fuels and raw materials||62.3||68.5||73.8|
The Netherlands derives income from exports of machinery in particular
Exports also play a major role in the top ten domestic products that most contribute to the Dutch economy. In eight of the ten categories of goods, most of the product’s receipts come from abroad. For two categories – clothing and bakery and bakery products – domestic sales predominate. There, the share of exports amounts to only 3 and 21 percent, respectively.
Of all products, machines and components contribute by far the highest share of Dutch GDP with total revenues of € 21.7 billion. Of this amount, $ 18.2 billion comes from abroad and $ 3.5 billion is generated by domestic sales (with exports holding an 84 percent share). The highest gains are generated in particular by the export of specialized machinery such as chipmaking equipment, which goes to China, Taiwan and South Korea.
After machinery and components, the Dutch economy derives the highest income from meat (products), metal (products), pharmaceuticals, dairy products, clothing, food preparations, vehicles (components) , vegetables and seeds, bread and baked goods. In addition, substantial income is earned through ornamental horticulture, for example flower bulbs, plants, flowers and nursery products. The entire ornamental horticultural industry is ranked among the top ten.
|Machines and components||18.2||3.5|
|Vehicles (and components)||3.7||1.2|
|Vegetables and seeds||3.6||1.3|
|Bread and baked goods||1.0||3.7|
Dutch trade in facts and figures 2021
Many Dutch companies, large and small, do business across the border. Others are mainly suppliers of exporting companies or multinationals without being themselves internationally active. Some Dutch companies also have branches in more than one country or are foreign-controlled and, as such, are directly or indirectly part of global value chains. All these aspects of foreign trade and investment are covered in the publication Dutch trade in facts and figures 2021: Exports, imports and investments.
Further information on the interconnections of trade flows between the Netherlands and the rest of the world up to and including 2020 is available in the publication: Dutch Trade in Facts and Figures, 2021.