Figures - International Trade

Due to the economic crisis that started in 2008, the import and export value of goods plummeted in 2009. International trade gradually recovered after that and the import and export value of goods surged again. As of 2012, the import value has fluctuated around 375 billion euros; the export value around 425 billion euros.

The Netherlands imported 381 billion euros worth of goods in 2016. Machinery and transport equipment accounted for one-third. Mineral fuels and chemical products had a share of 14 percent each. The Dutch export value of goods amounted to 432 billion euros in 2016, of which nearly 30 percent was on account of machines and transport equipment. Chemical products attributed 18 percent to the export value; food and live animals nearly 14 percent.

Goods produced in the Netherlands relatively made the largest contribution to the export of food and live animals. In machines and transport equipment, the re-export value was highest.


In 2016, the bulk of Dutch goods imports originated from the European Union (54 percent). Goods from Germany represented by far the highest import value, followed by goods from Belgium, China and the United States, although far behind Germany by 30 to 35 billion euros.

The highest value in Dutch goods exports stays within the European Union: almost three-quarters in 2016. The single most important destination is Germany (nearly 100 billion euros). Other EU countries occupy second to fifth place among the top ten destinations. The value of exports to these individual countries is however significantly lower than of exports to Germany. In sixth place is the United States as the first non-EU destination.

In 2016, the Netherlands imported almost 150 billion euros and exported 160 billion euros worth of services, for example 15 percent more imports and 7 percent more exports relative to 2014. This increase mainly took place in 2015. Over the past three years, cross-border trade in services – both imports and exports – has increasingly been focused on the European Union. In 2016, the EU accounted for 66 percent of service exports and 56 percent of service imports.

International service trade involves a wide variety of services. In 2016, around half the value of this trade – both imports and exports – consists of telecommunication, computer and information services as well as other business services. In addition, imports often concern royalties (19 percent), for example payments for the right to use intellectual property. In exports, transport services occupy third place with a share of 19 percent. The share of royalties in the export value amounts to 13 percent.

The growth of the international trade in services recorded in 2015 was mainly related to a peaking trade in royalties that year. This trade levelled off again in 2016.



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Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure (but not definite)
2016-2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 Average for 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2014/’15-2016/’17 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2014/’15 to 2016/’17 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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