The Netherlands exported US$691.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2021, up by 31.1% since 2017 and accelerating by 25.5% from 2020 to 2021.
Applying a continental lens, about three-quarters (74.8%) of the Netherlands’ exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries. Another 12.6% were sold to importers in Asia, plus 6.3% worth of goods sent to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (3.1%), Latin America (2.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (0.8%).
Netherlands Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Netherlands top trading partners, countries that imported the most Dutch shipments by dollar value during 2021. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Dutch exports.
- Germany: US$157.4 billion (22.8% of total Dutch exports)
- Belgium: $74.5 billion (10.8%)
- France: $56 billion (8.1%)
- United States: $33 billion (4.8%)
- Italy: $29.9 billion (4.3%)
- Spain: $21.8 billion (3.1%)
- Poland: $21.6 billion (3.1%)
- China: $16.5 billion (2.4%)
- Sweden: $14.2 billion (2%)
- Taiwan: $11.5 billion (1.7%)
- Czech Republic: $10.6 billion (1.5%)
- Switzerland: $10.2 billion (1.5%)
- South Korea: $10.1 billion (1.5%)
- Denmark: $9.4 billion (1.4%)
- Austria: $8.7 billion (1.3%)
- Russia: $7.8 billion (1.1%)
- Turkey: $7.4 billion (1.1%)
- Ireland: $7.2 billion (1%)
- Finland: $6.5 billion (0.9%)
- Norway: $6 billion (0.9%)
- Hungary: $5.3 billion (0.8%)
- Japan: $5.1 billion (0.7%)
- Portugal: $4.6 billion (0.7%)
- Nigeria: $4.4 billion (0.6%)
- Canada: $4.3 billion (0.6%)
Well over three-quarters (78.6%) of Dutch exports in 2020 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
Taiwan was the top importer that increased its purchases from the Netherlands from 2020 to 2021 by the greatest percentage.
Other leading percentage increases for exports sold from the Netherlands were attributed to: Italy (up 35.9% from 2020), South Korea (up 35.5%). Portugal (up 34.4%), Sweden (up 33.6%), Poland (up 33.2%), Austria (up 32.9%) and Belgium (up 32%).
Countries Causing Worst Trade Deficits for the Netherlands
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Netherlands incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- Mainland China: -US$46.6 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2021.)
- United States of America: -$14.4 billion
- Russia: -$13.8 billion
- Norway: -$12.3 billion
- Malaysia: -$6.9 billion
- Vietnam: -$6.1 billion
- Ireland: -$4.7 billion
- Japan: -$4.5 billion
- Hong Kong: -$4.2 billion
- Thailand: -$3.1 billion
Among the Netherlands’ trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Dutch deficits with Russia (up 252.6%), Norway (up 185.4%) and Japan (up 50.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Netherlands’ competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Netherlands to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating Biggest Trade Surpluses for the Netherlands
The Netherlands earned an overall $71 billion trade surplus in 2021, a positive trade balance that exceeded by 5.6% over the $67.3 billion surplus posted one year earlier.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Netherlands incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- Germany: US$50.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2021)
- France: $34.2 billion
- Belgium: $13.2 billion
- Italy: $12.7 billion
- Spain: $9.2 billion
- Poland: $8.7 billion
- Switzerland: $5.1 billion
- Austria: $4.7 billion
- Sweden: $4.5 billion
- Taiwan: $4.4 billion
Among the Netherlands’ trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Dutch surpluses with Taiwan (up 117.3%), Italy (up 45.9%) and Poland (up 45.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2020 to 2021.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Netherlands’ competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Netherlands to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Netherlands’ Major Exports Companies
Twenty-seven Dutch corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Dutch export companies headquartered in the Netherlands that Forbes included.
- Ageas (diversified insurance)
- Akzo Nobel (diversified chemicals)
- ASM International N.V. (semiconductors)
- ASM International N.V. (semiconductors)
- ASML Holding (semiconductors)
- DSM (diversified chemicals)
- Gemalto (electronics)
- Gemalto (electronics)
- Heineken Holding (beverages)
- Lyondell Basell Industries (diversified chemicals)
- NXP Semiconductors (semiconductors)
- Philips (industrial conglomerate)
- Royal Dutch Shell (oil, gas)
- Unilever (food processing)
According to IMPORTERS.com listings for Dutch suppliers, the following are also examples of relatively smaller companies that ship products from the Netherlands. Shown within parenthesis are products that the Dutch business provides.
- Bless Ya, Inc (young girls apparel)
- Ciparo (paper, plastics)
- Daqso International (toiletries, cosmetics, perfumes)
- Floorkinderkleding (children clothing)
- Holland Metals & Raw Materials (non-ferrous metals, steel scrap)
- King-Boats (inflatable craft)
- Lagwo Trading Inc NV (crude oil, petroleum)
- Powerview Technology BV (surveillance products)
- Raisina Exports (dried fruits, nuts)
- Shipside Tax Free Cars BV (automobiles)
See also Netherlands Top 10 Imports, Netherlands Top 10 Major Export Companies and Netherlands Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 27, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 27, 2022
IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Netherlands Import Export Directory. Accessed on May 27, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on May 27, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 27, 2022
Wikipedia, List of Companies of the Netherlands. Accessed on May 27, 2022
Wikipedia, Netherlands. Accessed on May 27, 2022