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Dutch Farm Exports Seen Climbing 4.4% to EU75.4 Billion in 2012

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch agricultural exports, the world’s second-biggest, rose 4.4 percent last year on shipments of dairy products and meat to Germany, according to farm-economy researcher Landbouw Economisch Instituut.

Exports gained to 75.4 billion euros ($102 billion) from 72.2 billion euros in 2011, LEI, as the researcher is known, wrote in a report on its website.

The U.S. was the biggest shipper of agricultural products in 2011, followed by the Netherlands and Germany, World Trade Organization data show. Countries in the 27-nation European Union purchase about 80 percent of Dutch farm exports, according to figures from the LEI.

“The surplus of the Dutch agricultural trade balance is entirely realized in trade with the other EU member countries,” the researcher wrote.

Imports and exports of agricultural goods resulted in a current-account surplus for the Netherlands of 25 billion euros, up from 24.5 billion euros in 2011, according to the report. That compares with a total trade-balance surplus of 13.6 billion euros last year, the researcher said.

The country’s agricultural trade surplus was the world’s fourth-biggest in 2011, behind Brazil, Argentina and Thailand, according to the report.

Dutch farm exports to Germany climbed to 19.4 billion euros from 18.6 billion euros in 2011, according to LEI. Shipments of cheese to Germany increased to 1.11 billion euros from 1.04 billion euros as beef exports rose to 605 million euros from 535 million euros, the data showed.

Shipments of cocoa and cocoa products to Germany fell to 1.02 billion euros from 1.06 billion euros, according to the LEI.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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