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Trade surplus excluding re-exports €20 billion lower in Netherlands

Staff Writer |
In 2016, the Netherlands posted a goods trade surplus of 52 billion euros. The amount is lower by around 20 billion euros if the substantial re-export flows are not taken into account.

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Re-exports generate relatively little revenue for the Netherlands. As a result, the surplus is not as lucrative as it may seem at first sight.

This is evident from a new statistical analysis conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), based on recent figures over the year 2016 and data from previous years.

Earnings per euro of Dutch goods exports vary. Out of every euro of export value, approximately 11 eurocents are earned in re-exports. Direct exports of domestically produced goods yield around 57 eurocents per euro of export value.

In both imports and exports, 44 percent of the trade value is related to re-exports.

Over half of total imports is destined for the Dutch market, while over half of total exports consists of goods manufactured in the Netherlands. As a result, the goods trade surplus is lower after adjustment for re-exports.

Re-exports refer to goods manufactured abroad and imported by the Netherlands which are subsequently exported without undergoing much, if any, industrial processing.

The contribution of re-exports to gross domestic product (GDP) was nearly 4 percent in 2015. The contribution made by export of Dutch-manufactured goods amounted to nearly 17 percent.