Norway’s Top 10 Exports

Norway’s Top 10 Exports


Geographically its closest trading partners are Finland, Russia and Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway shipped US$123 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018, down by -15% since 2014 but up by 20.6% from 2017 to 2018.

As of July 24, 2019, Norway exported $55.1 billion worth of goods during the first 6 months of 2019 down -9.5% compared to the same period one year earlier.

From a continental perspective, 83.5% of Norwegian exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 7.8% were sold to Asian importers. Norway shipped another 5.6% worth to North America with 1.9% arriving in Africa, and 0.8% going to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Norway’s population of 5.4 million people, its total $123 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $22,900 for every resident in the Nordic country.

In macroeconomic terms, Norway’s total exported goods represent 31.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($395.9 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 31.1% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 35.3% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Norway’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Norway also provided $42.9 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 10.8% of GDP in PPP. These metrics include a significant amount of re-exporting activity.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Norway’s unemployment rate was 3.2% at May 2019 down from 3.8% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Norway’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Norwegian global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Norway.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$76.5 billion (62.2% of total exports)
  2. Fish: $11.7 billion (9.5%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $4.6 billion (3.7%)
  4. Aluminum: $4.2 billion (3.4%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.7 billion (2.2%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.4 billion (1.1%)
  7. Iron, steel: $1.3 billion (1.1%)
  8. Nickel: $1.2 billion (1%)
  9. Organic chemicals: $1.2 billion (1%)
  10. Ships, boats: $1.2 billion (1%)

Norway’s top 10 exports accounted for 86.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Nickel was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 32.6% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving international sales was mineral fuels including oil which was up 31.2% led by improved international sales of petroleum gases and oils.

Norwegian machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value up 13.9%, trailed by iron and steel exports thanks to that category’s 12.4% advance.

The ships and boats category led the decliners with a -26.4% drop in value year over year.

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Norway’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.


Overall Norway posted a $35.3 billion trade surplus during 2018, up 114.9% from $16.5 billion in black ink for 2017.

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 represent 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$71 billion (Up by 30.3% since 2017)
  2. Fish: $11.2 billion (Up by 5.7%)
  3. Aluminum: $2.8 billion (Up by 3.2%)
  4. Zinc: $591.4 million (Up by 18.6%)
  5. Iron, steel: $406.4 million (Up by 15.5%)
  6. Woodpulp: $218.8 million (Down by -1.9%)
  7. Other base metals: $207.5 million (Up by 47.5%)
  8. Organic chemicals: $203.1 million (Up by 24.9%)
  9. Arms, ammunition: $194.6 million (Down by -30.6%)
  10. Gems, precious metals: $180.8 million (Up by 21.4%)

Norway has highly positive net exports in the international trade of mineral fuels-related products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Norway’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil 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$9.3 billion (Up by 0.8% since 2017)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$7.2 billion (Up by 15.5%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$5.4 billion (Up by 9.5%)
  4. Articles of iron or steel: -$4.2 billion (Down by -30.4%)
  5. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$2.5 billion (Down by -1.3%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.1 billion (Up by 2.9%)
  7. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.5 billion (Down by -7.7%)
  8. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$1.4 billion (Up by 19.3%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.4 billion (Up by 8.6%)
  10. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$1.2 billion (Up by 1.7%)

Norway has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for road vehicles (notably 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. Below is a sample of the major Norwegian export companies that Forbes included:

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

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

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

Norway’s capital city is Oslo.

Searchable List of Norway’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Norway’s top export products are petroleum gases, crude oil followed by fresh fish, refined petroleum oils then aluminum.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Norway during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankNorway's Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Petroleum gases$35.2 billion+33.1%
2Crude oil$33.3 billion+28.7%
3Whole fish (fresh)$7.4 billion+9.5%
4Processed petroleum oils$6.9 billion+33.2%
5Aluminum (unwrought)$3.2 billion+3.7%
6Fish fillets, pieces$1.9 billion+2%
7Whole fish (frozen)$1.4 billion-7.5%
8Nickel (unwrought)$1.2 billion+33.6%
9Carboxyamid/amide-function compounds$1 billion+11.8%
10Electrical energy$963.2 million+37.1%
11Dried/salted/smoked fish$907.3 million+7.8%
12Iron ferroalloys$774.4 million+11.7%
13Cruise/cargo ships, barges$714.3 million-38.1%
14Medication mixes in dosage$702.7 million+25.3%
15Liquid pumps and elevators$682.2 million+42.4%
16Insulated wire/cable$614.7 million+22.9%
17Zinc (unwrought)$602.8 million+17.8%
18Miscellaneous machinery$601 million+4.2%
19Automobile parts/accessories$562.1 million+8.1%
20Aircraft parts$559.3 million+18.1%
21Hydrogen, rare gases$533.7 million+3.3%
22Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$511.8 million+4.2%
23Turbo-jets$510.1 million+43.8%
24Machinery parts$415.6 million+6.2%
25Taps, valves, similar appliances$381.2 million+3%
26Phone system devices $339.2 million+3.7%
27Cobalt$327.2 million+55.3%
28Survey/hydro/weather instruments$321.8 million-7.4%
29Uncoated paper for writing/printing$291.5 million+11.6%
30Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$275 million+2.2%
31Platinum (unwrought)$269.9 million+10.5%
32Fishing vessels, factory ships$267 million+55.3%
33Pebbles, gravel, broken stone$254.4 million+5%
34Rough wood$238.3 million+14.6%
35Computers, optical readers$233.5 million+16.8%
36Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$228.8 million+2.8%
37Bombs, grenades, ammunition$213.7 million+3%
38Other diagnostic/lab reagents$213 million+12.8%
39Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$198.8 million+8.2%
40Liquid/gas checking instruments$195.6 million-9.1%
41Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)$182.9 million-3.7%
42Other food preparations$182.9 million+8.1%
43Regulate/control instruments$180.3 million+9.3%
44Aluminum wire$179.9 million+22.5%
45Iron or steel scrap$178.7 million+17.7%
46Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$175.4 million+42.9%
47Sawn wood$171.1 million+19.7%
48Trucks$165.2 million+15.9%
49Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$163.5 million+4%
50Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$157.9 million-33.2%
51Warships, lifeboats$155.4 million-27.4%
52Fish/marine mammal fats and oils$151.3 million+20.7%
53Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods$146.9 million+14.1%
54Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$145.3 million+23%
55Crustaceans (including lobsters)$143.1 million+9%
56Finishing agents, dye carriers, fixers$140.2 million-0.4%
57Air or vacuum pumps$133.3 million+22.7%
58Refined copper, unwrought alloys$133 million-3.6%
59Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$132 million+5%
60Metal-containing ash, residues$129.8 million+26.3%
61Piston engine parts$126.6 million-15%
62Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$124.6 million+18.7%
63Miscellaneous iron or steel items$123.3 million+1.6%
64Copper waste, scrap$117.1 million+11.1%
65Carbon electrodes, brushes$116 million+0.1%
66Soil preparation machinery$111.3 million+16.7%
67Inedible meat flour$108.6 million+40.1%
68TV receivers/monitors/projectors$106.3 million+4.6%
69Connector/insulating parts$105.7 million-39.8%
70Special purpose vehicles$102.8 million+37.4%
71Electric generating sets, converters$102.2 million-63.3%
72Aluminum bars/rods$102.2 million+5.4%
73Aluminum waste, scrap$102.1 million+28.5%
74Chemical industry products/residuals$101.8 million+9.2%
75Electrical converters/power units$99.2 million-3.8%
76Aircraft, spacecraft$97.4 million+29.6%
77Gold (unwrought)$95.4 million+0.6%
78Radar, radio communication items$93.6 million+30.6%
79Physical/chemical analysis tools$93.5 million+5.3%
80TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$91.7 million-4.2%
81Navigational aids including compasses$90.3 million-3.1%
82Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$89.8 million+10.6%
83Other measuring/testing machines$88.6 million+8.7%
84Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$87.3 million+21.5%
85Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$84.6 million+177.7%
86Computer parts, accessories$84.2 million-15.9%
87Glazed transparent papers, parchment$82.3 million+1.3%
88Monument or building stone including granite$82.1 million+6.7%
89Industrial preparation machinery$79.6 million+49.5%
90Iron ores, concentrates$78.7 million-7.9%
91Lower-voltage switches, fuses$77.9 million-12.8%
92Mattresses, quilts$77.1 million+0.5%
93Blood fractions (including antisera)$75.4 million+28.4%
94TV/radio/radar device parts$75.2 million+12.7%
95Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$73.4 million+3.2%
96Educational instruments, apparatus$73.2 million-19.2%
97Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$73.1 million-7.2%
98Iron or steel pipe fittings$72.2 million+9.7%
99Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$71.6 million+18.1%
100Cheese, curd$71.3 million-0.4%
101Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$68.7 million+14.7%
102Other organic cleaning preparations$66.7 million+11.3%
103Artificial graphite$66.3 million+27.1%
104Glass fibers$66.3 million+3.6%
105Chemicals used in electronics$65.2 million+14.7%
106Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$64.9 million-17.8%
107Miscellaneous engines, motors$64.2 million-6.3%
108Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$64 million+1.3%
109Other military weapons$64 million-43.8%
110Electric water heaters, hair dryers$60.8 million-3.2%
111Pulley tackle, hoists$59.6 million-0.8%
112Petroleum oil residues$58.7 million+55.8%
113Iron or steel tubes, pipes$58.2 million-48.4%
114Inorganic acids, oxygen compounds$58.1 million+17.3%
115Paper/paperboard waste, scrap$57.1 million-17.9%
116Microphones/headphones/amps$56.7 million+5.5%
117Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$55.4 million-11.3%
118Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$55.3 million+20.3%
119Wood/other ligneous fiberboard$54.9 million-1.5%
120Miscellaneous plastic items$54.9 million+6.7%
121Integrated circuits/microassemblies$52.9 million+32.3%
122Electrical machinery$52.8 million+53.1%
123Biodiesel$52.7 million-24.6%
124Mineral, aerated waters$51.6 million+8.7%
125Soya-bean oil$49.5 million-16.9%
126Miscellaneous cast iron or steel items$49.5 million+18.1%
127Unrecorded sound media$48.6 million-18.6%
128Particle board, other ligneous materials$45.5 million+19%
129Electric motors, generators$45.4 million+11.9%
130Newspapers, journals$45.3 million+4.7%
131Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$45.2 million+4.9%
132Orthopedic appliances$45.1 million+17.9%
133Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$44.8 million+7.1%
134Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$43.9 million+34.1%
135Paint/varnish aqueous solution$43.5 million+43.8%
136Other machine parts, accessories$43.4 million+3.3%
137Pneumatic hand tool$42.5 million+1%
138Derricks, cranes$42.4 million-7%
139Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$42 million+28.9%
140Uncoated paper$41.9 million+27.9%
141Feldspar, leucite, nepheline, fluorspar$41.8 million+1.3%
142Cars$41.7 million-27.2%
143Lifting/loading machinery$41.3 million-4.5%
144Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$41.2 million+67.8%
145Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$41.1 million+8.8%
146Aluminum foil (thin)$41.1 million+15%
147Other precious metal items$40.9 million+0.6%
148Interchangeable hand/machine tools$40.9 million+12.1%
149Saturated acyclic mono acids$40.8 million+35.8%
150Mechanical woodpulp$40 million+40.7%
151Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$38.9 million+7.5%
152Vulcanized rubber items$38.8 million-1.3%
153Miscellaneous animal products$38.8 million+11.4%
154Amino-compounds (oxygen)$38.4 million+0.3%
155Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$38.2 million-2%
156Specially designed containers$37.7 million+48.1%
157Miscellaneous raw furskins$37.5 million-11.5%
158Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$36.8 million+70.1%
159Sports equipment$36.7 million+12.5%
160Miscellaneous furniture$36.6 million-3.9%
161Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$36.5 million-2.5%
162Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$36.4 million+4%
163Engines (diesel)$34.7 million+83.2%
164Industrial or lab electric furnaces, ovens$34.3 million+6%
165Temperature-change machines$33.9 million+9.3%
166Sort/screen/washing machinery$33.8 million+92.3%
167Arms parts, accessories$33.7 million-59.1%
168Tissues, napkins, toilet paper$33.1 million+17.5%
169Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$32.1 million-1.2%
170Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$29.9 million+8.2%
171Bovine/equine rawhides, skins$29.3 million+7.4%
172Iron or steel chains$28.9 million+23.5%
173Prefabricated buildings$28.7 million-31.3%
174Wood packing cases, boxes, crates$28.6 million+10.9%
175Worn clothing$28.3 million+9%
176Trailers$27.3 million+11.3%
177Metal sheeting joints including gaskets$27.2 million+21.7%
178Electric storage batteries$27.2 million+8.8%
179Paper containers, cellulose wadding$26.4 million+9.3%
180Bridge structures, towers$25.9 million-25.8%
181Vacuum cleaners$24.7 million+127.9%
182Miscellaneous aluminum items$24.6 million+13.1%
183Knotted twine netting, rope cordage$24.1 million+2.3%
184Quartz, quartzite$24 million+244.2%
185Beet-pulp, brew/distilling waste$23.9 million+64.2%
186Printing machinery$23.6 million+35.3%
187Mineral substance items including stone$23.5 million-9.8%
188Tractors$23.3 million+21.9%
189Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$22.9 million+13.7%
190Miscellaneous machine electrical parts$22.9 million+22.3%
191Acyclic hydrocarbons$22.8 million+18.9%
192Rare-earth metal compounds$22.6 million-12.9%
193Natural sands$22.5 million-28.5%
194Public-transport vehicles$22.3 million-10%
195Refrigerators, freezers$22 million-1.8%
196Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$21.6 million+5.1%
197Base metal mountings, fittings$21.4 million+11%
198Manganese oxides$21.2 million+4.1%
199Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$21.1 million-32.9%
200Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$20.9 million+10.6%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$115.6 billion or 94% by value for all products exported from Norway during 2018.

See also Norway’s Top Trading Partners, Norway’s Top 10 Imports and Capital Facts for Oslo, Norway

Research Sources:
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 21, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 28, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on January 21, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 21, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 24, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Norway. Accessed on January 21, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 28, 2019

Wikipedia, Norway. Accessed on January 21, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 28, 2019