Sunday 12 July 2020

Dutch farm exports reach record levels, boosted by re-exports, higher prices

Cut flowers at a wholesalers. Photo:

Dutch farm-related exports continue to rise, but most of the 2019 increase is due to higher prices rather than volumes and re-exports account for a large chunk, according to new figures from the national statistics agency CBS and Wageningen University.

In total, exports reached €95.4bn last year, up 4.6% on 2018 and their highest ever level. However, just over a quarter of the total figure is due to the re-export of food and agricultural goods grown or produced outside the Netherlands, such as cocoa beans, avocados and beer.

Price rises accounted for two thirds of the total increase in export value. Nevertheless, the Netherlands remains the second biggest exporter of agricultural goods in money terms in the world, behind the US, the CBS said.

The export basket is led by the flower, bulb and plant industry, with exports reaching €9.5bn.

Meat exports rose significantly to €8.8bn, driven by the swine fever epidemic in Asia. Pork exports to China in particular were up 22% on 2018. Dairy product exports reached €8.6bn, vegetables €7.3bn and fruit €6.2bn.

Some 25% of Dutch food and drink exports went to Germany. France accounted for 11% and the UK 9%.

Farm machinery and machinery for the food processing industry accounted for a further €10bn in exports, the CBS said.

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