The value of exported goods was 7 percent lower in January 2002 than in the same month last year, at 19 billion euro. Imports were 13 percent lower at nearly 17 billion euro, according to provisional figures from Statistics Netherlands.
The rate of decline in foreign trade has been quite constant in the last three months. Lower producersâ€™ prices account for part of the decrease in value of imports and exports. As the decrease in mports is larger than that of exports for the fifth month in a row, the trade surplus increased further: in January this year it was 2.7 billion euro, up from 1.6 billion euro twelve months previously.
Trade with EU countries
The Netherlands imported more than 9 billion euro worth of goods from countries of the European Union, 9 percent less than in January 2001. Exports to EU countries were 7 percent lower in January than twelve months previously at 15 billion euro. The surplus on the balance of trade with EU countries was 5.8 billion euro in January, slightly less than in January 2001.
Substantial fall in trade deficit with non-EU countries
The trade deficit with EU countries has fallen substantially, from 4.4 billion euro in January 2001 to 3.2 euro in January this year. The Netherlands exported 4 billion euro worth of goods to countries outside the EU, a fall of 8 percent. Imports from non-EU countries fell by 18 percent to just over 7 billion euro. The rate of decrease of imports from outside the EU was thus twice the rate for countries within the EU.
(source: Statistics Netherlands)