Higher prices and re-exports save agricultural exports

Despite the coronacrisis, the value of Dutch agricultural exports increased last year. Important nuancing is that this growth is fully accounted for by price increases and re-exports. The export of Dutch products fell.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and Wageningen Economic Research (WUR) report this on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The export value was โ‚ฌ95.6 billion in 2020, 1% more than in 2019.

CBS and the economists of Wageningen University expect the Netherlands to have an estimated โ‚ฌ41.9 billion in export earnings by 2020.

Including agricultural-related equipment such as machinery for the agricultural industry and food industry, the total export value comes to โ‚ฌ105.4 billion and earnings to โ‚ฌ46.1 billion.


Export value of Dutch products fell more than half a percentage to โ‚ฌ68.3 billion. The value of re-exports, i.e. foreign products which are destined for their final destination via the Netherlands, has increased by 5.1%.

Our flowers, plants, flower bulbs and nursery products are the most important export products. The export value amounted to โ‚ฌ9.5 billion, a fraction more than in 2019.

Meat exports fall

, the largest export product in value after horticulture, was less easily able to find its way to the foreign customer. Export value fell from โ‚ฌ9 billion in 2019 to โ‚ฌ8.7 billion last year.

Germany is by far the most important trading partner of the Dutch agricultural sector, with a share of as much as 26% of the total export value. The value of exports to eastern neighbours increased by 4% to โ‚ฌ24.6 billion in 2020.

Belgium, the United Kingdom and France follow Germany as the main exporting countries. Exports to all these countries have shrunk last year.

The export value of agricultural-related decreased by 0.6%. We sold fewer machines and fertilizers abroad. The export value of fertilisers even decreased by 9%.

In contrast, the export value of greenhouse materials increased by 19% to โ‚ฌ1.8 billion, with greenhouse construction almost equal suppliers of machinery for the food industry.

Moreover, the computational masters of CBS and WUR emphasize that the figures are still an estimate. The estimate is also extra uncertain due to the coronacrisis.