Total Dutch agricultural exports are estimated to have reached a new record in 2020:95.6 billion euros, despite the coronacrisis. This is evident from research by Wageningen Economic Research and the Central Bureau of Statistics. “This shows that the resilience of the agricultural and horticultural sector is quite high,” says researcher Petra Berkhout.
The value of agricultural exports was 1 percent higher than one year before. However, nuances are placed: the volume decreased while the price rose. In addition, the value of export products from Dutch soil decreased slightly. However, this was offset by a sharp increase (5 percent) in the value of foreign products exported by the Netherlands.
Anyone who zooms in further will see that the export of floriculture – which includes flowers and plants – has remained virtually the same. That remained the largest export group last year. Other categories show a decrease in export volumes, for example in meat (3%) and dairy products and eggs (4%).
Highlight Shifts: Local Chains
But all in all, the agricultural and horticultural sector is not doing bad, says researcher Berkhout. According to her, this is partly due to aid measures, but other issues also play a role. “The chain has responded well to change.” In addition, she sees “accent shifts”, with more attention being paid to local sales and shorter chains. But she emphasises that exports are the main part of sales.
There has been discussion in the Netherlands about the quantity being exported for years. After the US, the Netherlands is the largest agricultural exporting country in the world. Two thirds of these go to other EU countries, one quarter of which goes to Germany.