A sovereign state in Northern Europe, the Republic of Finland exported US$73.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 22.9% gain from 2015 to 2019 but a -2.6% dip from 2018 to 2019.
Applying a continental lens, 70.2% of Finland’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 15.3% were sold to importers in Asia. Finland shipped another 9.1% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to Africa (2.3%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.9%) then Oceania led by Australia (1.3%).
Finland’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Finland’s top trading partners in terms of exports. That is, countries that imported the most Finnish shipments by dollar value during 2019. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Finnish exports.
- Germany: US$10.3 billion (14.1% of Finland’s total exports)
- Sweden: $6.9 billion (9.4%)
- United States: $5.2 billion (7.1%)
- Netherlands: $4.2 billion (5.8%)
- Russia: $3.9 billion (5.4%)
- China: $3.8 billion (5.2%)
- United Kingdom: $2.8 billion (3.8%)
- Italy: $2.6 billion (3.5%)
- Belgium: $2.2 billion (3%)
- France: $2.1 billion (2.9%)
- Estonia: $1.9 billion (2.5%)
- Norway: $1.8 billion (2.4%)
- Poland: $1.8 billion (2.4%)
- Japan: $1.4 billion (1.9%)
- Spain: $1.2 billion (1.7%)
Approaching three-quarters (71%) of Finnish exports in 2019 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Leading increases in import purchases from Finland from 2018 to 2019 were Italy (up 50.2%), Japan (up 17.9%) and the United States (up 7.2%).
The severest declines were Finnish export sales to Netherlands (down -13.2%) and the United Kingdom (down -12.2%).
Overall, Finland incurred a -$166.8 million trade deficit during 2019, down -94.6% from -$3.1 billion in red ink one year earlier.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Finland incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- Russia: -US$5.2 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2019)
- Sweden: -$4.9 billion
- Germany: -$2.5 billion
- Denmark: -$1.4 billion
- Netherlands: -$1.1 billion
- Czech Republic: -$660.8 million
- Estonia: -$497.8 million
- Austria: -$361.1 million
- Ireland: -$319.4 million
- France: -$184.7 million
Finland went from a $1.2 billion surplus trading with the Netherlands in 2018 to -$1.1 billion in red ink for 2019. Among Finland’s other trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Finnish deficits with Sweden (up 569.7%), Germany (up 228.5%) and Denmark (up 168.3%) grew at the fastest percentage pace from 2018 to 2019.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Finland’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Finland to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Finland incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United States: US$3.7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2019)
- China: $1.2 billion
- United Kingdom: $1.1 billion
- Japan: $1 billion
- Australia: $711.5 million
- Italy: $654.6 million
- South Korea: $535.5 million
- Egypt: $412 million
- Latvia: $347.2 million
- Turkey: $324.4 million
Finland reversed a -$1.3 billion deficit trading with China during 2018 to generate $1.2 billion in black ink for 2019, went from a -$387.3 million deficit with Italy to post a $654.6 million surplus and also transitioned from -$36.7 million in red ink with South Korea in 2018 to garner a $535.5 million positive trade balance one year later. Among Finland’s other trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Finnish surpluses with Japan (up 239.6%), Turkey (up 82.8%) and United States (up 54.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Finland’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Finland to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Finnish Trading Partners
Twelve Finnish corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of Finland’s major companies that Forbes included:
- Metso (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
- Neste Oil (oil, gas)
- Nokia (communications equipment)
- Outokumpu (iron, steel)
- Stora Enso (paper, paper products)
- UPM-Kymmene (paper, paper products)
- Wärtsilä (heavy equipment)
Wikipedia also lists companies from Finland engaged in international trade.
- Altia (alcoholic beverages)
- Fiskars (scissors, gardening tools, kitchenware)
- HKScan (meat products)
- Kemira Oyj (chemicals)
- Metsä Group (wood products, paper)
- Neste (refined petroleum)
See also Finland’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Middle East: Israel. Accessed on March 25, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 25, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 25, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 25, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Finland. Accessed on March 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Finland. Accessed on March 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 25, 2020