Top 5 export destinations
Some time ago, HST Groep published a blog about the Top 5 import countries in which all the main importing countries and products have been featured for the Netherlands. However, it is equally interesting to look at the main exporting countries; Dutch goods are in fact very popular abroad. When discussing Dutch export products, there is often initially thought of the typical Dutch tulips, cheese, licorice, treacle waffles and clogs. However, these products represent only a very small part of the total Dutch exports. Below are set put the main export countries for the Netherlands and the main products that are exported to these countries. More than half of the Dutch export goes to the following five countries:
There is a lot of trade between Germany and the Netherlands: Germany is not only the largest import partner of the Netherlands, but is also the largest export partner for the Netherlands. More than a quarter of the goods exported from the Netherlands go to our eastern neighbors. Germany has a strong economy and is thanks to its near location an interesting option for many Dutch exporters. In recent years, online trade is growing in Germany at a rapid pace and many Dutch companies and (web) shops use this to their advantage.
The main products exported from the Netherlands to Germany are petroleum products, chemical products and machinery, computers, telecommunication devices, microprocessors and office tools. The main group of exports are agricultural products: over 25% of the Dutch agricultural products and machinery goes to Germany.
In addition to our eastern neighbors, our direct neighbors to the south are also an important export country to the Netherlands. Like Germany, online commerce is growing fast in Belgium. Making online purchases is more popular than ever and the online market seems to be far from saturated. Because most online shops in Belgium are not yet as advanced as shops in the Netherlands, many Belgians buy products from online Dutch shops. Transparency about for example the transport process is very important here because online shopping is not yet as common as it is in the Netherlands, causing it to sometimes be perceived as “a little scary”.
The Dutch goods that go to Belgium are mainly organic chemicals, various manufactured goods, road transport vehicles, plastics and office and automatic machines.
3. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is climbing steadily up the ladder of major Dutch export countries. In 2012, the UK was still in fourth place on important export markets, but it has been on third place as of 2014. That the United Kingdom is becoming a more and more important export partner to the Netherlands is not surprising: the co-operation between the two countries has a long history. Therefore there are grown strong connections between the countries both personal and businesslike in the course over time. Moreover, trading with the United Kingdom appeals to a lot of Dutchmen because the business culture is very similar to the one in the Netherlands and most of the Dutch speak English very well.
From the Netherlands, many telecommunications and office equipment is exported to the United Kingdom. Also Dutch vegetables, fruit, meat, mineral fuels and chemicals are often shipped to the UK.
Although France has dropped to the fourth place in recent years in the top five most important import countries, it is still regarded an important trading partner for the Netherlands. Like in the Netherlands, in France it has also become very popular to buy goods online. France is at the moment even one of the world’s best e-commerce countries with over 150,000 online shops. Many Dutch export to France, not only because it is a high-potential market, but also as a springboard to trade with other French-speaking countries.
The main good that find their way to France from our country are medicines, routers, printers and laptops, Dutch natural gas, oil products and machinery.
5. United States
Together with Italy, the United States compete for fifth place in the top five most important export countries for the Netherlands. Both countries are responsible for about 4 to 5% of the total Dutch exports. Now the US is recovering from the economic crisis, exports to this country are increasing again.
Especially office machines, beverages, chemical products and transport materials are exported from the Netherlands to the United States.
Other export countries
In addition to the five countries mentioned above, there are still a number of countries which play an increasingly important role in Dutch exports:
To the aforementioned Italy, the Netherlands export mainly food products, electrical machinery, metal products, synthetic fibers, chemicals, raw materials and natural gas.
Since the accession of Poland to the EU, trade between the Netherlands and Poland has more than quadrupled. From the Netherlands, mainly office and automatic data processing machines are being exported, as well as pharmaceuticals and plastics. Also agricultural products such as fruit, vegetables and meat from Dutch soil do well on the Polish market.
Turkey is a growing economy and more and more Dutch see the potential for import from and export to this country. Due to its location, Turkey is often seen as a stepping stone for trade with countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. The main export products from the Netherlands to Turkey are metals, office and automatic machines, electrical appliances, vehicles for road transport, telecommunications and plastics.
Export with HST
Whether you want to export goods to Germany or to the United States, it remains a difficult process. HST’s expert happily assist you developing your export plan and can – if desired – take certain tasks of your hands such as the handling of customs and import duties. Are you not sure whether you and your business are ready to start exporting? First ask yourself these 10 questions to help you get started with exporting. Want to know what HST can do for you in the export process? Please contact us or request a free quote.