CBS analysed 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). The import concentration was calculated per product group. This is the extent to which the supply is dominated by a few large players. In addition, CBS examined whether these product groups are offered on the world market by only a few countries or whether there are alternative suppliers.
Imports from one or a few countries and limited number of global suppliers
Maize is one of the few commodities that are imported from a small number of countries and that have a relatively high export concentration in world trade at the same time. In 2019, the Netherlands imported 973 million euros worth of maize, nearly two-thirds of which came from Ukraine. The world market for maize is somewhat concentrated, with the United States as the largest exporter. Together with Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine, it accounts for three-quarters of global maize exports.
Import of coal for domestic use is concentrated as well: over 60 percent was supplied by Russia and the United States. The world coal market is slightly concentrated. Australia, Indonesia and Russia together account for more than 70 percent of global coal exports.
|Commodity||HHI index for imports||Import value (million euros)||Main supplier||World export concentration|
The degree of geographical concentration is shown by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), i.e. the market is not concentrated if the index of a commodity is below 0.15, slightly concentrated with an index from 0.15 to 0.25 and concentrated with an index of 0.25 or higher.
Imports from one or a few countries but lower concentration worldwide
The import market for aircraft and parts to the amount of 2.5 billion euros is dominated by the United States with a share of over 90 percent. However, the world market is not concentrated. France, Germany and the United Kingdom account for approximately 55 percent of global exports of this product group.
The Dutch supply market for natural gas is also highly concentrated. Nearly 85 percent of the imports for domestic use – which amounted to almost 5.8 billion euros – came from Norway, Russia and the United Kingdom. By contrast, the world market has a relatively large number of suppliers, with Qatar, Norway and the United States being the largest exporters. However, natural gas from these countries may be more expensive, due to transport for example.
Salted and dried meat is another commodity which is mainly imported from a small number of countries. Almost three-quarters of the imports, which are worth 384 million euros, originated from Brazil and Thailand. The world market for these types of meat products is not dominated by one or a few countries.
For all other product groups, imports are not concentrated among a few suppliers. At a detailed level, this may well be the case; a specific brand or product may only come from one particular country.
|Commodity||HHI index for imports||Import value (million euros)||Main supplier|
|Aircraft and parts||0.83||2494||United States|
|Railway rolling stock||0.45||369||Spain|
|Jet engines, turbo-propellers||0.38||379||United States|
|Optical elements and glasses||0.36||1262||Germany|
|Chocolate and cocoa preparations||0.35||590||Belgium|
|Wheat and meslin, not milled||0.34||915||France|
|Other motor vehicles||0.3||681||Belgium|
|Meat (salted, dried)||0.29||384||Brazil|
|Machinery and appliances n.e.s.||0.28||4210||Germany|
|Rolled iron or steel||0.28||1021||Germany|
|Lime, cement and building materials||0.28||635||Germany|
|Stone, sand and gravel||0.28||405||Germany|
|Barley, not milled||0.28||365||France|
|Milk, cream and milk products||0.27||1539||Germany|
|Other non-ferrous metal ores||0.26||502||Belgium|