Decline of imports from China and increase of exports in 2023

Almost 70 billion euros in goods were imported by the Netherlands from China between January and July 2023 (nearly 5 billion euros less compared to the same period last year). The most significant decline was shown by imports of computers and telephones. Nevertheless, 16 percent increase was attained by goods exports to China (11.8 billion euros in total). This information is based on new CBS and Eurostat figures.
A rise by 17 billion euros in 2022 partly caused by price increases was followed by the drop in import value.
A fall by over 45 billion euros (from 352 to 306.5 billion) was demonstrated by imports from China by the European Union as a whole in the first seven months of this year. Sharp decrease of imports of Chinese-manufactured goods by Germany (from 77 billion to 57 billion euros) was responsible for the decline.
The first place in imports of goods from China within the EU during the first seven months of 2022 was taken by Germany; in the same period of 2023 this position was taken by the Netherlands. Telephones (-1.2 billion), computers (-4.6 billion) and semiconductors (+1.6 billion euros) were mainly imported by the Netherlands.
Virtual stability characterizes goods exports from the EU to China. A fall by 8 percent to just under 58 billion euros in the period January – July 2023 was shown by German exports to China.
A higher export value of machinery and equipment (+898 million euros), medicines (+401 million) and medicinal and pharmaceutical products (+188 million) was the main reason of the growth of the Netherlands’ export to China.
The index of 10 percent was exceeded by China’s share in total Dutch goods imports (excl. transit trade) for the first time in 2020, but it fell to 9 percent again in 2022. Dutch imports of raw materials and semi-manufactured goods from China have decreased from 6.8 percent in 2020 to 5.1 percent in 2022, versus 5.5 percent in 2015.
Lower import dependency on China was shown by service sectors (IT and information, financial and business services) over the past few years. 32 percent of IT and information services’ raw materials and semi-manufactured goods were still imported from China in 2019. In 2022 this was 17 percent. Telecommunications was the most dependent sector (nearly 29 percent import dependency in 2022).
The value added after deducting the cost of imports for manufacturing of the goods or provision of the services (net export earnings) from trade with China attained nearly 7.1 billion euros in 2022 (31 million euros (0.4 percent) less than in 2021). Lower net export earnings in services (-432 million euros) caused the decrease. On the other hand, an increase (+400 million euros) was shown by net earnings from goods exports.
Machinery and equipment (especially chip-manufacturing machines) brought the highest profit in goods exports over 2022 to the Netherlands (1.5 billion euros), followed by processed foodstuffs such as baby milk powder (1.1 billion euros) and meat (379 million euros). Processed foodstuffs (+370 million euros), machinery and equipment (+192 million euros) and semiconductors (+174 million euros) showed the largest increases last year; medicine exports (-122 million euros) and passenger car exports (-95 million euros) demonstrated the largest declines in earnings last year.
A drop in earnings from intellectual property rights (royalties; -511 million euros) was the main cause of the decline in export earnings from China in 2022.

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