In the 17th century - the Dutch Golden Age - the trade with the Baltic laid the foundation for the growing Dutch economy and was therefore called the 'mother trade'. Dutch ships brought chiefly salt and herring to the Baltic countries. In addition they transported luxury items from all over the world. The ships returned from the Baltic countries carrying timber and corn. More than half of the trade in Baltic corn went through Amsterdam, from which it found its way to England, France, Spain and Portugal.
The main trade route ran from Amsterdam via the Sont to Dantzig (now Gdansk) in Poland and back. Both Amsterdam and Dantzig grew dramatically thanks to the trade. The Danish profited from it as well: all the ships that passed through the Sont had to pay toll to the Danish king at Elseneur.
The Dutch Baltic trade flourished especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. From then on trade slowly declined as a result of increasing competition and a decreasing demand for corn.