In 2019, the Netherlands achieved the highest export value for vegetables ever. The value of the export of greenhouse and open field vegetables in 2019 amounted to 7.3 billion euro, almost 11% higher than in 2018.
The total export of agricultural and horticultural goods in 2019 is estimated at 94.5 billion euro. This is 4.6 percent more than in 2018. Wageningen Economic Research (WUR) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) report this on the basis of joint research commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV).
Export of peppers and tomatoes peaks
Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers are the most important export vegetables. The export of tomatoes and peppers increased by 7% and 10% respectively. This was thanks to a higher price with a somewhat lower production volume for tomatoes and peppers.
The export value of onions also rose sharply. The export value of cucumbers decreased by almost 10% compared to the exceptionally good year 2018 that saw high prices.
Export to Belgium increases considerably
In 2019, the three most important export destinations for the total of vegetables were Germany (32%), the UK (12%) and Belgium (12%). Export to these countries increased, especially to Belgium.
Despite this increase, the total export to Belgium only amounts to one third of what was exported to Germany. The export value to Belgium increased mainly because of a higher export value of fresh potatoes, which are also included in this trade group.
Of the total export, 83% (€ 6.2 billion euro) is sold in Europe. Of the total of exported vegetables, 83% is Dutch-produced. The share of Dutch-produced goods in exports to Germany was higher (86%).
Import value increases by 13%
The import value of vegetables amounted to 2.7 billion euro in 2019, an increase of almost 13% compared to 2018. Spain remains the most important country of origin (24%). Other important countries of origin are Belgium (18%), Germany (15%) and France (7%). Imports increased from these top three.
The import value for a wide range of products from Spain was higher, including for onions, lettuce and types of cabbage. The import of tomatoes, potato and potato products from Belgium increased. More potatoes also came from Germany.
In addition to the export of fresh fruit and vegetables, attention is also paid to the results in floriculture, knowledge, starting materials and greenhouse construction. A few key points from the substantial report:
- 57% of vegetable seeds goes to countries outside the European Union. Compared to other product groups, the relatively limited export of 'only' 5-7% of total export to Germany is striking.
- the export of greenhouse materials is expected to amount to 1.4 billion euro in 2019. A comparable result as in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, export was lower. 52% of export goes to European countries. In 2010 that was even 73%.