Dutch Corn: Israel Becoming a Key Import Partner


Oct 24, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

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Corn grows in the eastern part of the Netherlands, specifically the Overijssel province area, and its land use consists of 61% agricultural land (dominated by dairy farming with 80% grassland and 20% Corn). Silage Corn, used for cattle feeding, makes up 98% of the total Corn area in the province. The average size of the Corn fields is 2.4 ha, approximately 90% of the Corn fields are on sandy soils, and their groundwater table is typically 2−4 m below the surface.

On average, the country produces 84,000 tons of Corn annually on the acreage of 8,424 hectares. Production per person is 4.9 kg. Even though they grow Corn, it cannot provide the country’s domestic usage. Therefore, a country almost entirely depends on imports. According to an analysis published by the Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association (Het Comité), the Netherlands imports 95% of its domestic Corn usage.

Dutch Government made policy research to show the country’s economic dependency, which showed the potential vulnerability of the Netherlands in terms of the security of supply of particular product groups. The analysis was limited to product groups with an import value exceeding 250 million euros and intended for domestic use (excluding imports for re-exportation), and Corn was one of them. Compared to other countries, the Netherlands produces a variety of common goods for its domestic usage. However, Corn is the grain that the country cannot produce the desired amount of due to climate and weather conditions.

Dutch Corn: Israel Becoming a Key Import Partner

Dutch Corn Trade

In 2019, the Netherlands imported Corn worth 973 million euros, nearly two-thirds of which came from Ukraine. The world market for Corn is somewhat concentrated, with the United States as the largest exporter. Together with Brazil, Argentina, and Ukraine, it accounts for three-quarters of global Corn exports. Rotterdam port plays a key role in receiving Corn imports from North and South America.

In 2020, the Netherlands imported Corn worth $1.14B, becoming the 8th largest importer of Corn in the world. The same year, Corn was the 93rd most imported product in the Netherlands. Netherlands imports Corn primarily from: Ukraine ($513M), France ($232M), Romania ($108M), Brazil ($64.7M), and Bulgaria ($40.5M).

Goods from Ukraine account for just under 0.4 percent of total Dutch imports, but Ukraine was the main supplier of maize in 2021, followed at a distance by France, Germany, and Romania.
Maize is one of the few product groups whose Dutch imports are highly concentrated in a few countries, and whose world exports are also relatively concentrated. The Netherlands imported 536 million euros of maize from Ukraine in 2021. That corresponds to more than a quarter of the total import from Ukraine. Also, for vegetable fine oils and oilseeds for fine oils, Ukraine is among the top three most important suppliers.

According to AgFlow data, Ukraine led the Netherlands’ Corn import market with 1.1 million tons in Jan – Oct 2022, followed by Brazil (0.7 million tons), Romania (0.6 million tons), Canada (0.1 million tons), and Poland (0.07 million tons). However, due to the war, the country is likely to seek other suppliers and try to change this dependency on one country.

In terms of exports, the Netherlands shipped Corn worth $286M in 2020, making it the 17th largest exporter of Corn in the world. The same year, Corn was the 305th most exported product in the Netherlands. The main destination of Corn exports from the Netherlands is Belgium ($98.4M), Germany ($78.7M), Israel ($68.2M), France ($9M), and Italy ($7M).

The fastest-growing export markets for Corn from the Netherlands between 2019 and 2020 were Israel ($67.2M), Belgium ($8.87M), and Austria ($2.47M).

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