The latest data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), which refers to the 2015 year, shows that Dutch exports of domestically produced chocolate and semi-finished products including cocoa butter and cocoa powder reached a total value of €2.8 billion in 2015, an increase of 6 per cent relative to the 2014 and an all-time record.
Including re-exported goods, exports reached a total value of €4.5 billion. The Netherlands is a global trade hub for cocoa beans and semi-finished products and the world’s largest importer of cocoa beans. After Côte d’Ivoire, The Netherlands is also the largest processor of cocoa beans worldwide. The Netherlands is the second largest exporter of chocolate after Germany, and the number one exporter of semi-finished chocolate products.
Imports of cocoa beans into The Netherlands also reached a record high in 2015. More than 700 million kg of cocoa beans were imported, exceeding the previous record year (2011) by 2 per cent. Some 85 per cent of cocoa beans are imported from Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria; €1.4 billion worth of cocoa beans were imported to be processed into semi-finished and final products.
Most beans imported into The Netherlands are processed into chocolate and semi-manufactured products like cocoa paste, cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Many of these products are exported to neighbouring countries.
Last year, €750 million worth of chocolate produced in The Netherlands was exported; three-quarters went to European countries. With a share of 19 per cent, Asia is another major export destination.