Geographically its closest trading partners are Finland, Russia and Denmark. The Kingdom of Norway shipped US$102.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019, down by -1.9% since 2015 and down by -16.4% from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Norwegian krone has depreciated by -9.1% against the US dollar since 2015 and declined by -8.2% from 2018 to 2019. Norway’s weaker local currency makes Norwegian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
From a continental perspective, 80.6% of Norwegian exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 11% were sold to Asia-based importers. Norway shipped another 5.4% worth to North America with 1.8% arriving in Africa, with 0.9% going to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean and 0.3% sent to Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 82.3% of products exported from Norway were bought by importers in: United Kingdom (20.1% of the global total), Germany (14.3%), Netherlands (11.1%), Sweden (7.7%), France (5.9%), Denmark (4.5%), United States (4.4%), Belgium (4.1%), China (4.1%), Poland (2.4%), Spain (2.3%) and Finland (1.4%).
Given Norway’s population of 5.4 million people, its total $102.8 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $19,200 for every resident in the Nordic nation.
Norway’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Norwegian global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Norway.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$57.1 billion (55.6% of total exports)
- Fish: $11.7 billion (11.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $4.6 billion (4.4%)
- Aluminum: $3.7 billion (3.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.8 billion (2.8%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.7 billion (1.6%)
- Organic chemicals: $1.4 billion (1.3%)
- Nickel: $1.3 billion (1.2%)
- Ships, boats: $1.2 billion (1.2%)
- Iron, steel: $1.1 billion (1.1%)
Norway’s top 10 exports accounted for 84.1% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Optical, technical and medical apparatus was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 20.8% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving organic international sales thanks to a 16.1% expansion. Norwegian electrical machinery and equipment posted the third-fastest gain in value up 5.8%.
The mineral fuels including oil category led the decliners with a -25.3% drop in value year over year, weighed down largely by Norway’s shrinking international sales of crude oil and petroleum gases.
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 generated a $16.9 billion trade surplus during 2019, down -52.1% from $35.3 billion in black ink one year earlier.
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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$51.6 billion (Down by -27.3% since 2018)
- Fish: $11.2 billion (Down by -0.3%)
- Aluminum: $2.6 billion (Down by -6.4%)
- Organic chemicals: $582.6 million (Up by 186.8%)
- Zinc: $521.1 million (Down by -11.9%)
- Gems, precious metals: $293.2 million (Up by 62.2%)
- Iron, steel: $259.2 million (Down by -36.2%)
- Woodpulp: $207.1 million (Down by -5.3%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $133.3 million (Down by -6.3%)
- Other base metals: $106.6 million (Down by -48.6%)
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.
- Vehicles: -US$9.4 billion (Up by 1.4% since 2018)
- Machinery including computers: -$7.3 billion (Up by 1.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$5.8 billion (Up by 8.2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$3.6 billion (Down by -13.4%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$2.5 billion (Down by -0.1%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$2 billion (Down by -4.1%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$1.5 billion (Up by 2.3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.2 billion (Down by -11.2%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$1.2 billion (Down by -3.1%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1 billion (Down by -6.6%)
Norway has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for road vehicles (notably cars, trucks, automobile parts and trailers).
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Norway’s competitive disadvantages in the international automotive market, but also represent key opportunities for Norway to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations or volume discount negotiations.
Norwegian Export Companies
Nine Norwegian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Norwegian export companies that Forbes included:
- Norsk Hydro (aluminum)
- Orkla (industrial conglomerates)
- Statoil (oil, gas)
- Telenor (telecommunications)
- Yara International (specialized chemicals)
Wikipedia also lists exporters from Norway. Selected examples are shown below:
- Cermaq (fish)
- Norske Skogindustrier, (pulp, paper)
- The Jotun Group (paints, related chemicals)
- Thin Film Electronics ASA (printed electronics)
- Tine (dairy products)
- Yara International (chemicals)
Searchable List of Norway’s Most Valuable Export Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Norway during 2019 sorted by value. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2018.
|Rank||Norwegian Export Product||2019 Value (US$)||Change|
|3||Whole fish (fresh)||$7,361,089,000||-3.7%|
|4||Processed petroleum oils||$6,902,739,000||-9.9%|
|6||Fish fillets, pieces||$1,904,516,000||+6.4%|
|7||Whole fish (frozen)||$1,353,908,000||+7.5%|
|10||Dried, salted, smoked miscellaneous fish||$907,330,000||-1.1%|
|11||Cruise/cargo ships, barges||$714,328,000||-11.2%|
|15||Liquid pumps and elevators||$682,158,000||-19.6%|
|20||Medication mixes in dosage||$702,741,000||-26.5%|
|23||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$511,756,000||-8.2%|
|24||Hydrogen, rare gases||$533,689,000||-18.4%|
|28||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$274,965,000||+25%|
|29||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$381,190,000||-11.7%|
|30||Phone system devices||$339,190,000||-2.8%|
|31||Liquid/gas checking instruments||$195,586,000||+50.2%|
|32||Computers, optical readers||$233,508,000||+15.7%|
|33||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$291,474,000||-12.3%|
|35||Pebbles, gravel, broken or crushed stone||$254,361,000||-10%|
|36||Other diagnostic/lab reagents||$212,994,000||+5%|
|37||Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)||$228,819,000||-4%|
|38||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$198,845,000||+9.6%|
|39||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$175,417,000||+22.8%|
|41||Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)||$182,943,000||+1.3%|
|42||Other food preparations||$182,939,000||+0.7%|
|45||Iron or steel scrap||$178,744,000||+0%|
|46||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$145,336,000||+22.4%|
|47||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$143,113,000||+18.7%|
|48||Air or vacuum pumps||$133,295,000||+22.9%|
|49||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$123,324,000||+29.7%|
|50||Fish/marine mammal fats and oils||$151,266,000||+5.5%|
|51||Bombs, grenades, ammunition||$213,682,000||-26.8%|
|52||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$163,463,000||-6.4%|
|55||Electric generating sets, converters||$102,201,000||+42.6%|
|56||Metal-containing ash, residues||$129,801,000||+11.9%|
|57||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$157,907,000||-8.7%|
|58||Fishing vessels, factory ships||$267,030,000||-48.9%|
|59||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$133,048,000||+1.5%|
|60||Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods||$146,915,000||-8.2%|
|62||Piston engine parts||$126,550,000||+3.3%|
|63||Electrical converters/power units||$99,231,000||+29.3%|
|64||TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras||$91,713,000||+37.9%|
|65||Navigational instruments including compasses||$90,269,000||+36.2%|
|66||Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs||$132,024,000||-7.3%|
|67||Other measuring/testing machines||$88,550,000||+36.2%|
|68||Inedible meat flour||$108,555,000||+8.7%|
|69||Finishing agents, dye carriers, fixers||$140,221,000||-21.1%|
|70||Iron ores, concentrates||$78,685,000||+37.2%|
|72||Copper waste, scrap||$117,053,000||-9.1%|
|73||Carbon electrodes/brushes, lamp and battery carbons||$116,004,000||-9.1%|
|74||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$58,159,000||+80.2%|
|75||Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$124,597,000||-16.4%|
|76||Instruments, apparatus, models for demos||$73,185,000||+39.4%|
|77||Iron or steel pipe fittings||$72,199,000||+33.6%|
|78||Soil preparation or cultivation machinery||$111,317,000||-13.9%|
|79||Miscellaneous engines, motors||$64,228,000||+44.1%|
|80||Physical/chemical analysis tools||$93,533,000||-2.7%|
|82||Special purpose vehicles||$102,751,000||-14.8%|
|83||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$75,368,000||+15.6%|
|84||Aluminum waste, scrap||$102,092,000||-15.4%|
|85||Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers||$73,439,000||+16.8%|
|86||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$77,879,000||+9.9%|
|88||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$71,560,000||+17%|
|89||Miscellaneous industrial machinery||$79,649,000||+4.9%|
|90||Computer parts, accessories||$84,194,000||-2.2%|
|91||Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$87,324,000||-6.6%|
|92||Chemical industry products/residuals||$101,829,000||-23.7%|
|93||Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms||$55,422,000||+34.8%|
|94||Vegetable parchment, tracing papers, glassine||$82,279,000||-9.7%|
|95||TV/radio/radar device parts||$75,228,000||-3.5%|
|96||Monumental/building granite, basalt, sandstone||$82,132,000||-12.9%|
|97||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$73,068,000||-5.2%|
|98||Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues||$89,751,000||-23.3%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$91.7 billion or 89.2% by value for all products exported from Norway during 2019.
In macroeconomic terms, Norway’s total exported goods represent 25% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($410.7 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 25% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 31.1% in 2018, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Norway’s total economic performance.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Norway’s average unemployment rate was 3.6% for 2019 down from 3.854% in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Norway’s capital city is Oslo.
See also Norway’s Top Trading Partners, Norway’s Top 10 Imports and Capital Facts for Oslo, Norway
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on January 25, 2020
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 25, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on January 25, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on January 25, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on January 25, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on January 25, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Norway. Accessed on January 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on January 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Norway. Accessed on January 25, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on January 25, 2020