Dutch Amassed Nearly 124 Billion Euros in Agricultural Export In 2023 

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Roman Zenon Dawidowicz

The Dutch agricultural sector flexed its muscle in 2023, with exports reaching a staggering near-record high of 124 billion euros. This represents a modest 1.6% increase compared to 2022. While the export volume dipped slightly, it was outweighed by a rise in export prices.

This price increase can be attributed to lingering effects from 2022, where producers grappled with rising costs of raw materials, feed, and transportation. Interestingly, price increases became more stable in 2023, where some products even experienced a decline in prices.

Despite the slight volume decline, the Netherlands still remains a powerhouse in global agricultural exports. It’s important to understand that this figure includes both domestically produced goods and re-exports of foreign agricultural products.

Market expert, Roman Zenon Dawidowicz says the details on the Netherlands exports is derived from the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) that provides valuable insights into the overall export values by country (CBS Dutch agricultural exports). He further says Dutch achieving these billions of euros in agricultural export is as a result of different factors that come into play. These include:

Price Increases

The most significant contributor wasn’t necessarily a surge in export volume, but rather a rise in export prices. This occurs as a result of challenges faced by producers in 2022 that includes high cost of raw materials, animal feeds, fertilizers, packaging and transportations, These higher costs trickled into 2023, hence, resulting in increase in export prices.

Shifting Product Focus

Although overall export volume dipped slightly, there were winners and losers within the agricultural product categories. The value of vegetable exports, for instance, shot up by 12%, while fruit exports also saw an 11% increase. This suggests a potential shift in focus towards specific high-demand products within the Dutch agricultural sector.

Mitigating Price Increases

It’s important to note that price increases weren’t uniform across the board. While some products saw significant hikes in 2023, the trend started to moderate as the year progressed. This suggests a potential return to normalcy in terms of production costs, which could impact future export pricing.

Dutch Fruits and Vegetables Increase

Fruits and vegetables remain the top leading Dutch’s agricultural products exports and it has been like this over the years. While overall export volume dipped slightly, fruits and vegetables stand strong, experiencing a remarkable 12% increase in value compared to 2022.Here’s a closer look at it:

Sharp Value Increase

The total export value of fruits and vegetables reached an estimated €18.2 billion in 2023, compared to €16.3 billion in 2022. While diary and eggs led the pack in export, other products also saw a significant increase.

Vegetable

Vegetables have a value increase of a whopping 12%. This could be attributed to factors like:

  • Increased global demand: According to Hortidaily, specific vegetables, like onions (up 18% in 2022) and cucumbers (up 18% in 2022), might have experienced a surge in international popularity.
  • Rising potato prices: Weather conditions, higher storage costs, and competition for land use all played a role in pushing up potato prices in 2023 Since potatoes are included in vegetable exports, this price increase likely contributed to the overall value growth.

Fruit Follows Suit

While not as dramatic as vegetables, fruit exports also saw a respectable 11% increase in value. This suggests that Dutch fruit producers are successfully navigating the global market and meeting international demand.

Examples of Exported Produce

Roman Zenon Dawidowicz noted that the Netherlands is a major exporter of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Some of the top exported fruits likely include apples, pears and tomatoes.

While some vegetable exports might include onion, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli and many more. The Dutch agricultural sector’s ability to adapt and capitalize on specific fruit and vegetable export opportunities is a key driver behind this impressive rise in value.

Spain saw a 12% Increase in Importation from Dutch

“While Spain saw a significant 12% increase in the value of Dutch agricultural imports in 2023, Germany remains the Netherlands’ top export destination by a significant margin, says Roman Zenon Dawidowicz. Here’s a breakdown of Dutch agricultural export destinations and their estimated value in 2023:

Germany

Germany has been the top destination for Netherland exports for years but the growth in export in 2023 was lower as compared to export to Belgium. Germany received an estimated €29.6 billion worth of Dutch agricultural goods in 2023 [CBS Dutch agricultural exports]. This represents roughly a quarter of all Dutch agricultural exports.

As a large and diverse market, Germany likely imports a wide range of Dutch agricultural products, including dairy (cheese, milk), meat (pork, beef), vegetables (tomatoes, onions), and flowers.

Spain

Following its impressive 12% growth, Spain ranked sixth on the list of Dutch agricultural export destinations in 2023. This export saw the highest growth in terms of percentage. It has an estimated import value of €5.1 billion [CBS Dutch agricultural exports]. With its warmer climate, Spain might import more seasonal fruits and vegetables from the Netherlands, alongside dairy products and potentially even flower bulbs for their own flower industry.

Other Major Destinations

The remaining top destinations include European neighbours like: Belgium, France, United Kingdom, and Italy.