Dutch exports shrinking

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The volume of Dutch exports in October was nearly two percent lower than in the same period in 2010, the first such decrease in nearly two years. The volume of imports decreased by three percent.

These figures were published by the Dutch statistics office CBS on Monday. The October drop in exports came after a month of zero growth in September. Researchers say export conditions have been worsening for more than six months.

The value of exports, by contrast, increased by more than two percent in October, to 33.6 billion euros. The value of imports went up by 3 percent to 30.2 billion euros, resulting in a 3.4 billion euro trade surplus, exactly the same amount as in October 2010.

Of all products, only raw materials and fossil fuels saw a substantially higher import and export values compared to last year, mainly as the result of higher oil prices.

Export prices were 4.2 percent higher in October than a year before, whereas import prices went up by 5.2 percent. The terms of exchange have clearly worsened, which is to say that the price level of imports is rising faster than that of exports.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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