The Netherlands Ranks Second to US as Worlds’ Top Agricultural Exporter

The Dutch agricultural sector has once again claimed it place as the worlds’ second largest agricultural exporter. The national statistics office  CBS reported a total of €92bn, or $113.5bn US dollars,  in agricultural  exports for 2017 – up 7% on 2016 –  ranking the Netherlands as the second-largest agricultural exporter after the US.

Farmer in potato field

Farmer in potato field

The US agricultural exports  for fiscal year 2017 were put at $140.5bn, or €114.2bn euro.

Some €40.5 billion is attributable to products made in the Netherlands, while €3.5 billion came from goods that were first imported before undergoing limited processing and then being exported to other countries. If agriculture-related products are included, the contribution to the Dutch economy rises to €48 billion.

Flowers and flower bulbs once again topped the list of Dutch exports, followed by dairy products, which overtook meat as the second-largest Dutch agricultural export last year.

Export destinations

Most Dutch agricultural produce is exported to Germany at €3.4bn in 2017,with  the Netherlands being Germany’s most important agricultural export market.

The next largest export markets are Belgium (€10.4bn) and the UK (€8.6bn) followed by France (€8bn). Whereas Dutch exports to Belgium and France increased, they fell to the UK probably because of a weaker pound sterling related to Brexit, according to the CBS.

Exports of other agriculture-related products such as farm equipment, fertilizers and pesticides came to 9.1bn, bringing  the total for the sector to €101bn.

Agri-food wonder

The Netherlands, just 41.500 km2 with almost 18 mln people tells a hopeful story about the challenges facing a hungry world. It is a small country that punches well above its weight in the global agricultural sector, a dynamo leading the world in food security and solutions.