Netherlands regains title of Kuwait’s biggest EU trading partner

According to the newly published statistical data by Eurostat, the Netherlands was Kuwait’s main trading partner among the 28 countries of the EU in 2018.

While the decisive bulk of trade was from increased export of Kuwait’s crude oil to the Dutch port of Rotterdam, exports from The Netherlands also grew substantially in 2018, including in the export of agricultural products, foods and pharmaceuticals.

The Netherlands has retaken its place as Kuwait’s biggest EU trading partner, after losing the top EU trading partner position in 2016 and 2017 to Italy, The Netherlands regained its place in 2018 with a trade volume of more than 1.9 billion euros (KD665 million).

The most traded products between Kuwait and the Netherlands are crude oil, pharmaceuticals, food and machinery. Crude oil is of special importance, as it is responsible for 68 percent of all trade between Kuwait and the Netherlands. The overall trade with the Netherlands decreased with 60 million euros in comparison to 2017, a result of lower crude oil imports. Export from the Netherlands to Kuwait increased by more than 35 million euros. Holland was the only country of the big EU trading partners that increased its export to Kuwait. Especially trade in food, pharmaceuticals and IT increased in 2018.

Compared to the other big EU trading partners, the decrease in trade between Kuwait and the Netherlands was relatively small. Italy, the biggest trading partner of Kuwait in 2016 and 2017 lost more than 940 million euros in trade as a result of lower crude oil imports and decreased export numbers. The United Kingdom lost over 340 million euros in trade, mostly as a result of lower refined petroleum imports from Kuwait. Germany, compared to the other EU trading partners, did very well in 2018. Europe’s biggest economy traded 24 million euros less than the previous year, mainly as a result of lower exports of motor vehicles to Kuwait.