Comprising Scandinavia’s western portion of Northern Europe, the Kingdom of Norway shipped US$102.8 billion worth of products around the globe in 2019. That figure represents roughly 0.5% of overall global exports estimated at $19.285 trillion one year earlier in 2018.
Adopting a continental lens, 80.6% of Norwegian exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 11% were sold to Asia-based importers. Norway shipped an additional 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.
Norway’s Top 15 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Norway’s top trading partners in terms of export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Norwegian shipments by dollar value during 2019. Also shown is each importing country’s percentage of total Norwegian exports.
- United Kingdom: US$20.7 billion (20.1% of total Norwegian exports)
- Germany: $14.7 billion (14.3%)
- Netherlands: $11.4 billion (11.1%)
- Sweden: $7.9 billion (7.7%)
- France: $6.1 billion (5.9%)
- Denmark: $4.7 billion (4.5%)
- United States: $4.5 billion (4.4%)
- Belgium: $4.3 billion (4.1%)
- China: $4.2 billion (4.1%)
- Poland: $2.4 billion (2.4%)
- Spain: $2.3 billion (2.3%)
- Finland: $1.5 billion (1.4%)
- Italy: $1.4 billion (1.4%)
- Japan: $1.2 billion (1.2%)
- South Korea: $1.2 billion (1.1%)
Well over four-fifths (86%) of Norwegian exports in 2019 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Two of Norway’s top importers grew their purchases from Norway from 2018 to 2019 namely China (up 64.4%) and Spain (up 7%).
Leading the year-over-year decliners were importers in Belgium (down -33.5%), Finland (down -27.2%), France (down -26%) and Germany (down -25%).
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.
Norway incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$4.5 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2019)
- United States: -$2.3 billion
- Sweden: -$2.2 billion
- Russia: -$1.6 billion
- Italy: -$1.3 billion
- Canada: -$944.3 million
- Poland: -$891.9 million
- Brazil: -$885.6 million
- Czech Republic: -$709.4 million
- Switzerland: -$581.7 million
Among Norway’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Norwegian deficits with Poland (up 370.5%), United States (up 65.6%) and Italy (up 7.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
The severest reductions belong to China (down -26.9%), Canada (down -13.7%) and Sweden (down -9.1%).
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Norway’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Norway to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Overall Norway posted a $16.9 billion trade surplus during 2019, down -52.1% from $35.3 billion in black ink one year earlier.
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.
Norway garnered the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United Kingdom: US$16.4 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2019)
- Netherlands: $8.1 billion
- Germany: $5.4 billion
- France: $3.2 billion
- Belgium: $2.9 billion
- United Arab Emirates: $621.6 million
- Spain: $556.7 million
- Iceland: $440 million
- Nigeria: $431.5 million
- Egypt: $368 million
Among Norway’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Norwegian surpluses with United Arab Emirates (up 104.6%), Spain (up 41.7%) and Iceland (up 18.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Norway’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Norway to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Norwegian Trading Partners
Nine Norwegian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Norwegian 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)
See also Norway’s Top 10 Exports and Norway’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. 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, Norway. Accessed on January 25, 2020