Despite its fairly low population of just about 17 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is a top player in the world economy. It is ranked the 18th largest economy in the world and it has a strong import ecosystem, especially in the food sector.
The nation’s imports around the world in 2018 alone stood at $646 billion. This is a 27.2% increase since 2014 and a 43.5% rise from 2017 to 2018. The total imports from the Netherlands represent 3.6% of the total global imports which stands at $17.788 trillion.
Every Continent has its Fair Share in the Export
Though it is not surprising to find most of the purchase made by this country coming from the European countries, yet other continents are not left out in the trade relationship. Of the total imports, North American exporters sent in about 8.1% worth of goods to the country while Asia brought in 29.2% of the imports to the Netherlands. Latin America was not left out their little contribution of 2.8%. Africa had 2.7% and 1% went to the Oceania region with Australia playing the leading role.
The Leading Agro-products in High Demand in the Netherlands
As of the 2017 records of five top imports to the Netherlands, fresh fruits imports lead the pack with imports totaled at about EUR 6 billion. With natural fats and oils, cocoa and products, dairy and eggs and meat all following with about five, four, four and four billion euros worth of goods imported respective to complete the top five import foods to the Netherlands in 2017.
The Netherlands Imports and Exports to Create a Solid Trade Balance
The trade balance created by the Netherlands economy is one interesting thing about the countries trade pattern.
The Dutch nation happens to be the only place in northern Europe that has a favorable trade balance in vegetables and fruits. In 2017, the north European country imported about € 7.6 billion value of fresh produce and later exported about € 11.8 billion in value of similar goods. As active players they don’t just import for consumption but make good returns in re-exports to other nearby European neighbors. Over 20% of exports to Europe of fruits and vegetables have been carried out by the Netherlands.
The status of Holland as a trading hub can be clarified by its infrastructure, logistical benefit, and close cooperation between manufacturers and service suppliers in the raw fruit sector. The primary destinations of the Dutch production and re-export are still nations in northern Europe, and Germany is by far the biggest. For these nations, the Netherlands is among the main providers of imported tropical fruit and fresh vegetables. Common fruit, like bananas, appears to be shipped straight to the intended destination, but Dutch traders give a good infrastructure in northern Europe to suppliers of more rare varieties.
Getting into the Dutch Market
Let’s start with the hard truth – The Netherlands do not suffer from a shortage of suppliers. Due to their efficiency and in the forefront as a logistic trading hub for Europe, the country is supplied by a wide range of nations. South Africa, Chile, and Peru are the largest providers outside Europe, joined by Costa Rica, which primarily exports pineapples and bananas to the country. Importers prefer supplies from neighboring nations, if available.
Dutch importers are also interested in supplies from new locations especially of origins that fit well in the seasonal gaps. For instance, mangoes from western Africa are a big interest because of their closeness to Europe. Avocados from Colombia are another owing to their season which fills the supply gap.
It is not as hard to find prospective buyers in the country but in nations where economic ties are well established, it becomes harder for new exporters to get in. Because discovering the right company can be a challenge, BestFoodImporters offers a number of databases that include details about close to 900 active food importers from the Netherlands.