Dutch exports of agricultural goods reached a record level of 91.7 bn euros in 2017, exceeding the previous record in 2016 by more than 7 percent. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Wageningen Economic Research on the basis of joint research commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
The total agricultural exports including agriculture-related goods represented a value of 100.8 bn euros in 2017. The latter include products as milking robots or machinery for the food industry. It is the first time in history this export value has passed the 100 billion euro mark. In addition, Dutch agricultural imports, as well as the agricultural surplus, reached record heights. Imports of agricultural goods increased by 9 percent to 62.6 bn euros, while the agricultural surplus went up by almost 4 percent to 29.1 bn euros.
Dairy rivals horticulture
The most exported agricultural goods of 2017 are: horticulture including cut flowers, bulbs, plants and nursery products, dairy, meat and vegetables. If we only take into account domestic produce, the same goods can be found in the top 4. Fruit ranks fifth on the list of top agricultural export goods, although this is largely re-exports of foreign produce. Over a period of 12 months, the export value of dairy rose by 21 percent. A slower increase was seen in meat exports (6 percent), horticulture (3 percent) and vegetables (2 percent). Dairy has overtaken meat in the ranking and rivals the leader, horticulture.
The results of the Dutch agricultural sector have worldwide meaning. The world population increases rapidly and is in need of more safe, nutritious and eco-friendly food. The Netherlands can play a substantial role in facing these challenges, due to the evolution of our agricultural knowledge. The Netherlands already develop and export innovative agricultural technologies and expertise all over the world. This contributes to the implementation of agricultural techniques that are adapted to local circumstances and in finding answers for global water, soil and production issues.