Norway’s Top 10 Exports

Norway’s Top 10 Exports


Norway shipped US$89.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, down by -22.3% since 2009 when effects from the Global Recession kicked in and down by -15% from 2015 to 2016.

Norway’s top 10 exports accounted for 84% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Norway’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $364.7 billion in 2015. Therefore, exports accounted for about 24.4% of total Norwegian economic output.

From a continental perspective, 80.1% of Norwegian exports by value are delivered to other European countries while 10.2% are sold to Asian importers. Norway ships another 5.4% to North America while just 2.3% worth arrives in Africa.

Given Norway’s population of 5.3 million people, its total $89.1 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $16,900 for every resident in that country.

Norway’s unemployment rate was 4.7% as of November 2016 according to Trading Economics, up from 4.5% in December 2015.

Norway’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Norwegian global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Norway. At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Norway’s number 1 export product is crude oil followed by petroleum gas, fresh or chilled fish, refined petroleum oils then aluminum.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$47.2 billion (53.0% of total exports)
  2. Fish: $10.5 billion (11.8%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $4.9 billion (5.5%)
  4. Aluminum: $3.2 billion (3.6%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.5 billion (2.8%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.7 billion (1.9%)
  7. Ships, boats: $1.6 billion (1.8%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: $1.1 billion (1.3%)
  9. Organic chemicals: $1.0 billion (1.2%)
  10. Iron, steel: $953.2 million (1.1%)

Organic chemicals were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 59.1% in value for the 7-year period starting in 2009.

In second place for improving export sales was fish which was up 54.7%.

Norwegian optical, technical and medical equipment posted the third-fastest gain in value at 10%.

Mineral fuels including oil led the decliners with a -34.7% drop in value from 2009 to 2016, followed by electrical machinery and equipment (down -24.2%) and machinery including computers (down -33.4%).


The following types of Norwegian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports is the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$44.6 billion (Down by -35.1% since 2009)
  2. Fish: $10.1 billion (Up by 57.5%)
  3. Aluminum: $2.2 billion (Down by -12.9%)
  4. Zinc: $371.4 million (Up by 64.2%)
  5. Iron, steel: $261.3 million (Up by 844.6%)
  6. Organic chemicals: $217 million (Down by -468.7%)
  7. Woodpulp: $190.1 million (Down by -22.2%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $158.6 million (Up by 58%)
  9. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $130.3 million (Down by -780.6%)
  10. Furskins, artificial fur: $38.8 million (Up by 65%)

Norway has highly positive net exports in the international trade of fossil fuel-related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Norway’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil product category.


Below are exports from Norway that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Norway’s goods trail Norwegian importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Vehicles : -US$7.9 billion (Up by 52.1% since 2009)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$5 billion (Up by 51.2%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$4.1 billion (Up by 13.9%)
  4. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: -$2.3 billion (Up by 40.1%)
  5. Articles of iron or steel: -$2 billion (Up by 9.6%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.8 billion (Up by 16.3%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.2 billion (Up by 14.6%)
  8. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$1.1 billion (Up by 2.7%)
  9. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1 billion (Up by 4.9%)
  10. Ships, boats: -$915.1 million (Down by -37.9%)

Norway has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for vehicles (particularly cars, trucks, automobile parts and trailers).

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Norway’s competitive disadvantages in the international automotive market, but also represent key opportunities for Norway to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Norwegian Export Companies

Nine Norwegian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015. Below is a sample of the major Norwegian export companies that Forbes included:

  • Statoil (oil, gas)
  • Telenor (telecommunications)
  • Yara International (specialized chemicals)
  • Norsk Hydro (aluminum)
  • Orkla (industrial conglomerates)

Wikipedia also lists exporters from Norway. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Norske Skogindustrier, (pulp, paper)
  • Yara International (chemicals)
  • Cermaq (fish)
  • Tine (dairy products)
  • Thin Film Electronics ASA (printed electronics)
  • The Jotun Group (paints, related chemicals)

Norway’s capital city is Oslo.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Norway’s Top 15 Import Partners and Capital Facts for Oslo, Norway

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on January 27, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 27, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on January 27, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 13, 2016

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Norway. Accessed on March 13, 2016

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 13, 2016