agricutltural exportsThe Netherlands has again exceeded its previous year’s exports of agricultural products. Total exports in 2015 amounted to 82.4 billion euros, an increase of 700 million euros (almost 1 percent) over 2014. Agricultural exports represent 18.8 percent of total Dutch exports, which amounted to 438 billion euros in 2015.

The figures being presented here are estimates prepared by LEI Wageningen UR. The final export figures will, as always, be published in the summer.

“The Netherlands has once again lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural products, second only to the United States,” said Minister for Agriculture Martijn van Dam. “We must make every effort to retain this leading position. This will only be possible if we continue our efforts in the areas of knowledge development and innovation.

“There are some exemplary innovative farms in the Netherlands,” he said. “For instance, four of the largest plant seed producers are based in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is also a leader when it comes to the export of milking robots. These are all examples of innovations in which the rest of the world is enormously interested.’’

European Union

The Dutch agricultural trade mainly focuses on countries within the European Union. In 2014, more than 20 billion euros (25 percent) of Dutch agricultural exports went to Germany, making it our main trading partner. Belgium, the United Kingdom, France and Italy respectively account for 10.3 billion euros, 8.3 billion euros, 6.9 billion euros and 3.3 billion euros. Within Europe, the Netherlands mainly exports tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, meat, fish, dairy and eggs.

Global market

Flowers and plants are in great demand throughout the world. The Netherlands exports over 8 billion euros worth of these products. Furthermore, the Netherlands exports about 7.7 billion euros worth of meat, 7.2 billion euros worth of dairy and eggs products, 6.2 billion euros worth of vegetables and 4.9 billion euros worth of fruit.

New markets

Last year, the Netherlands also opened up several new markets. In 2015, the Netherlands was the only EU Member State to obtain access to the US market for egg products, such as protein powder for hamburgers and ice cream. In total, the Netherlands can deliver about 420,000 kilos of egg powder (made from 100 million eggs) to the US.