Sweden’s Top 10 Exports

Sweden’s Top 10 Exports

by Flagpictures.org

A Scandinavian nation in Northern Europe surrounded by Norway to its west, Finland to its east and connected to Denmark via a tunnel that connects its southwest to Denmark, the Kingdom of Sweden shipped US$153.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a -8.6% drop since 2013 but a 9.8% gain from 2016 to 2017.

From January to July 2018, exported goods from Sweden were valued at $97.3 billion. This 7-month metric puts Swedish exports on track for an annualized $166.8 billion estimated for all 2018.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Sweden’s exported goods plus services represent 45.5% of total Swedish economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 71.1% of Swedish exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 13.4% were sold to Asian importers. Sweden shipped another 7.8% to North America with 1.9% worth going to clients in Africa and 1.5% to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Sweden’s population of 10 million people, its total $153.1 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $15,400 for every resident in that country.

Sweden’s unemployment rate was 6.3% as of February 2018 down from 7.4% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Sweden’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Swedish global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Sweden.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$25 billion (16.3% of total exports)
  2. Vehicles: $21.8 billion (14.2%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: $14.7 billion (9.6%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $10.7 billion (7%)
  5. Paper, paper items: $8.6 billion (5.6%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: $7.9 billion (5.2%)
  7. Iron, steel: $6.8 billion (4.5%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: $5.5 billion (3.6%)
  9. Wood: $4.1 billion (2.7%)
  10. Fish: $4.1 billion (2.6%)

Sweden’s top 10 exports accounted for well over two-thirds (71.3%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Propelled by growing shipments of refined petroleum oils, the fastest-growing top export category for Sweden was mineral fuels including oil appreciating 35.2% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place was Swedish iron and steel (up 24%), trailed by exported vehicles (up 22.9%) and machinery including computers (up 16.5%).

The sole declining category was fish via -5.4% year-over-year setback.

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 Sweden’s Most Valuable Export Products below.


The following types of Swedish 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. Paper, paper items: US$6.9 billion (Up by 1.7% since 2016)
  2. Machinery including computers: $4.4 billion (Up by 8.5%)
  3. Pharmaceuticals: $3.5 billion (Up by 21.4%)
  4. Vehicles : $2.4 billion (Up by 488.7%)
  5. Ores, slag, ash: $2.3 billion (Up by 49.6%)
  6. Wood: $2.1 billion (Up by 4.3%)
  7. Iron, steel: $2 billion (Up by 4.3%)
  8. Woodpulp: $1.8 billion (Up by 5.4%)
  9. Gems, precious metals: $913.9 million (Up by 1.6%)
  10. Copper: $539.7 million (Up by 75.7%)

Sweden has highly positive net exports in the international trade of pulp and paper. In turn, these cashflows indicate Sweden’s strong competitive advantages under the paper product category.


Overall Sweden incurred a -$762.4 million trade deficit during 2017, down by -53.7% from the -$1.6 billion in red ink during 2016.

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

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$4.9 billion (Up by 4.1% since 2016)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$3.9 billion (Up by 32.5%)
  3. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$1.4 billion (Up by 15.8%)
  4. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$1.3 billion (Up by 14%)
  5. Meat: -$1.1 billion (Up by 12.6%)
  6. Fruits, nuts: -$1 billion (Up by 3.9%)
  7. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: -$963.2 million (Up by 78.2%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: -$961.3 million (Up by 114.6%)
  9. Rubber, rubber articles: -$951.1 million (Up by 32.9%)
  10. Dairy, eggs, honey: -$777.7 million (Up by 20.5%)

Sweden has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for crude oil, coal and petroleum gases.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Sweden’s competitive disadvantages in the international mineral fuels market, but also represent key opportunities for Sweden to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations especially in alternative energy sources.


Swedish Export Companies

Twenty-six corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Swedish companies that Forbes included:

  • Alfa Laval (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Assa Abloy (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Atlas Copco (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Autoliv (automotive parts)
  • Electrolux Group (household appliances)
  • Ericsson (communications equipment)
  • Hexagon (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Sandvik (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • SCA (household, personal care)
  • SKF Group (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Volvo Group (heavy equipment)
  • According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller exporters from Sweden:

    • Bulten Sweden (automotive parts, screws/bolts/nuts)
    • First Cargo Sweden (automobiles, bicycles, rubber tires)
    • Gelita Sweden (gelatin, salted/smoked meat, peptones/other proteins)
    • Kappahl (textile footwear, clothing)
    • Kendrion Hagalund (automotive parts, smoking tobacco, titanium dioxide pigments)


    Searchable List of Sweden’s Most Valuable Export Products

    At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Sweden’s top export products are cars, refined petroleum oils and medication mixes in dosage followed by automobile parts or accessories, mobile phones then fresh whole fish.

    The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Sweden during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

    RankSweden's Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
    1Cars$9 billion+20.4%
    2Processed petroleum oils$7.7 billion+19%
    3Medication mixes in dosage$6.2 billion+10.6%
    4Automobile parts/accessories$5.7 billion+12.2%
    5Phone system devices including smartphones$4.6 billion-15.8%
    6Whole fish (fresh)$3.2 billion-8.2%
    7Sawn wood$3.1 billion+7.8%
    8Coated paper$2.8 billion+0.04%
    9Engines (diesel)$2.4 billion+4.8%
    10Iron ores, concentrates$2.3 billion+41.5%
    11Tractors$2.2 billion+48.2%
    12Uncoated kraft paper$2.1 billion+4%
    13Computers, optical readers$1.7 billion+21.1%
    14Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$1.7 billion+5.1%
    15Trucks$1.7 billion+13.9%
    16Machinery parts$1.5 billion+10.9%
    17Uncoated paper for writing/printing$1.4 billion+5.2%
    18Miscellaneous furniture$1.4 billion+3%
    19Electrical converters/power units$1.2 billion+30.6%
    20Flat-rolled stainless steel items$1.2 billion+16.9%
    21Blood fractions (including antisera)$1.2 billion-1.8%
    22Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$1.2 billion+13.9%
    23Turbo-jets$1.2 billion-0.6%
    24Electrical energy$1.1 billion+32.8%
    25Fork-lift trucks$1.1 billion+8.4%
    26Insulated wire/cable$1.1 billion+40.4%
    27Temperature-change machines$1 billion+6.5%
    28Ethylene polymers$1 billion+12.5%
    29Automobile bodies$941.4 million+4.8%
    30Miscellaneous machinery$858.4 million+5.8%
    31Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$822.4 million+10.5%
    32TV receivers/monitors/projectors$814.7 million+8.9%
    33 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $780.2 million+9.3%
    34Physical/chemical analysis tools$765.4 million+6.5%
    35Liquid pumps and elevators$763.1 million+3.3%
    36Hormones, miscellaneous steroids$740.4 million-17.4%
    37Refined copper, unwrought alloys$712.2 million+61.5%
    38Miscellaneous plastic items$690.4 million+13.3%
    39Nuclear reactors, fuel elements$683.4 million+4.9%
    40Taps, valves, similar appliances$679.6 million+3.7%
    41Chassis fitted with engine$675.1 million-12.5%
    42Other diagnostic/lab reagents$669.7 million+3.5%
    43Gold (unwrought)$667.2 million+2.9%
    44Pneumatic hand tool$630.2 million-13.2%
    45Refrigerators, freezers$626.3 million+6.9%
    46Lifting/loading machinery$619.9 million+8.8%
    47Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$595.5 million-6.6%
    48Alloy steel bars, rods$582.8 million+30.1%
    49Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$580.1 million+32.5%
    50Lower-voltage switches, fuses$552.1 million-2.4%
    51Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$546.6 million+42.4%
    52Cellulose fiber paper$540 million+16.5%
    53Piston engines$539.1 million+55.7%
    54Zinc ores, concentrates$532 million+47%
    55Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$517.8 million+8.1%
    56Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$502 million+4.2%
    57Electric water heaters, hair dryers$493.2 million+11.7%
    58Vulcanized rubber items$488.8 million+0.8%
    59Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$487.9 million-0.3%
    60Copper wire$471.4 million+15.9%
    61Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$470.9 million+9.2%
    62Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$468.7 million+21.2%
    63Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$463 million+1%
    64Pig iron granules, powders$460.3 million+11.9%
    65Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$454.6 million+1.8%
    66Ball, roller bearings$448.6 million-7.9%
    67Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$442.1 million-1.2%
    68Cermet plates, sticks, tips$439.1 million-4.1%
    69Paper making/finishing machines$436.5 million+25.5%
    70Piston engine parts$434.8 million+2.1%
    71Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$430.8 million+5.1%
    72Miscellaneous iron or steel items$422.7 million+2.5%
    73Fish fillets, pieces$419.4 million+2%
    74Unrecorded sound media$418.8 million-8.7%
    75Iron or steel scrap$416 million+29.5%
    76Aluminum (unwrought)$412.4 million+30.3%
    77Orthopedic appliances$408.1 million+7.5%
    78Other food preparations$407.5 million+8%
    79Miscellaneous engines, motors$398 million+20%
    80TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$394.3 million+38.5%
    81Other machine parts, accessories$394.2 million+6%
    82Metal soldering/hot-spray equipment$391.9 million+27.2%
    83Tissues, napkins, toilet paper$378.8 million+3.7%
    84Newsprint (rolls or sheets)$372.6 million+1.4%
    85Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$364.4 million-0.9%
    86Radar, radio communication items$364 million+9%
    87Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$362.9 million+10.5%
    88Other organic cleaning preparations$362.4 million+8.6%
    89Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$356.4 million+10.4%
    90Microphones/headphones/amps$346.1 million+22%
    91Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$343.5 million+12.3%
    92Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$343.4 million+12.7%
    93Electric storage batteries$339.8 million+18.8%
    94Chemical industry products/residuals$330.6 million+7.5%
    95Crude oil$330.1 million+8,251,150%
    96Silver (unwrought)$319.4 million+10.2%
    97Interchangeable hand/machine tools$318.1 million+2.3%
    98Margarine$317.9 million+22.3%
    99Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$314.3 million+8.3%
    100Fish (dried, salted, smoked)$307.8 million+2.5%
    101Aircraft parts$301.2 million-15.9%
    102Printing machinery$300.8 million-6.9%
    103Iron or steel tubes, pipes$294 million-8.6%
    104Initiators/accelerators, catalytic preps$288.1 million+0.9%
    105Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)$287.3 million+14.9%
    106Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$287.1 million+6.8%
    107Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$284.4 million+2.1%
    108Air conditioners$281.9 million-5.2%
    109Other measuring/testing machines$280.2 million+12.9%
    110Air or vacuum pumps$278.1 million+5.9%
    111Washing machines$273.9 million+5.3%
    112Flat-rolled stainless steel items (thin)$270.9 million+12.2%
    113High-voltage switches, fuses$270.8 million-3.3%
    114Base metal mountings, fittings$270.2 million+8.3%
    115Agricultural/forestry/poultry/beekeeping machines$267.6 million+40.8%
    116Natural polymers$266.8 million-12.4%
    117Iron ferroalloys$264.6 million+49.2%
    118Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$262.7 million+4.6%
    119Petroleum gases$258.1 million+20.9%
    120Vinyl chloride polymers$254.2 million+15.5%
    121Electric motors, generators$254.2 million-6.6%
    122Sort/screen/washing machinery$252.2 million+11.4%
    123Pipe/chewing/snuff tobaccos$251.2 million+13.4%
    124Uncoated paper$248.9 million+5.2%
    125Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$248.8 million-9.8%
    126Polymer-based ion exchangers$247.1 million+31.1%
    127Regulate/control instruments$245.2 million-19.7%
    128Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$245.1 million+22%
    129Computer parts, accessories$239.2 million+26.4%
    130Petroleum oil residues$232.6 million+24%
    131Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$230.4 million+20.5%
    132Aluminum bars/rods$228.3 million+15.9%
    133Paint/varnish aqueous solution$225.4 million+6.1%
    134Prefabricated buildings$225 million+43.8%
    135Liquid/gas checking instruments$222.9 million+2.5%
    136Soil preparation/cultivation machinery$222.5 million+11.9%
    137Electric generating sets, converters$220.2 million-30.9%
    138Plastic tile or roll coverings$218.6 million+5.5%
    139Sports equipment$215.9 million+15.5%
    140Railway/tram locomotives, rolling stock parts$215.3 million-14%
    141TV/radio/radar device parts$213.5 million+32.8%
    142Acrylic polymers$211.6 million+20.7%
    143Paper containers, cellulose wadding$202.4 million+13.7%
    144Lead (unwrought)$197.4 million+33.5%
    145Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$196.5 million+11.2%
    146Glass fibers$195.5 million+4.5%
    147Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$192.1 million+2.1%
    148Dairy machines including for milking$191.7 million+346.6%
    149Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$190.7 million+8.6%
    150Trailers$190.4 million-0.7%
    151Stainless steel ingots$189.9 million+36.6%
    152Precious metal waste, scrap$189.9 million+1.7%
    153Household/sanitary rolls$185.8 million+2.4%
    154Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$185.3 million+5.8%
    155Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$184.6 million+2.2%
    156Footwear (leather)$184.3 million+10.5%
    157Integrated circuits/microassemblies$182.3 million+2.9%
    158Coated/laminated non-wovens$180.3 million+10.5%
    159Aluminum waste, scrap$178.7 million+43.5%
    160Semi-chemical woodpulp$176.8 million+26.4%
    161Mattresses, quilts$175.6 million+5.3%
    162Electrical machinery$173.8 million-14.4%
    163Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$166.1 million+3.5%
    164Copper waste, scrap$164 million+20.2%
    165Aluminum foil (thin)$163.5 million+8.4%
    166Iron or steel pipe fittings$163.1 million+10.6%
    167Other fermented beverages$161.5 million-3.2%
    168Table games, bowling equipment$157.4 million+53.3%
    169Coffee$156.6 million+14.3%
    170Rubber tires (new)$156.6 million+6.2%
    171Amino-compounds (oxygen)$154.9 million+5.9%
    172Ethyl alcohol$154.3 million+30.3%
    173Sauces, mixed condiments/seasonings$148.6 million+7.7%
    174Stainless steel bars, rods$148.1 million+19.3%
    175Machinery for making semi-conductors$146.8 million+0.9%
    176Cases, handbags, wallets$146.6 million+6.1%
    177Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$146 million-45.5%
    178Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$145.8 million+16.8%
    179Harvest/threshing machinery$144.8 million+8.4%
    180Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$143.6 million+7.9%
    181Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)$141.8 million+3.1%
    182Wheat$138.4 million-21.2%
    183Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$137.9 million+40.2%
    184Cellulose/chemical derivatives$137.3 million+14.6%
    185Glaze/graft putty, cement, filling$136.7 million-2.4%
    186Mechano-therapy appliances$133.8 million+9%
    187Print/write/draw inks$133.2 million+19.1%
    188Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$133.1 million+18.9%
    189Stainless steel bars, rods (coiled)$129.1 million+28.1%
    190Paper/paperboard machines including cutting$129.1 million+5.6%
    191Packaged dressings$127.6 million+4.5%
    192T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$127.3 million-4.8%
    193Miscellaneous/adhesive paper$127.3 million+16.7%
    194Rough wood$126.3 million+99%
    195Motorcycle parts/accessories$126.2 million+5.3%
    196Machines to assemble lamps, tubes, valves$125.6 million+33.7%
    197Vulcanized rubber plates, sheets, strips$124.4 million+32.4%
    198Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$123.6 million+3.9%
    199Brooms, brushes$123.6 million+2.5%
    200Bridge/tower structures, parts$122.1 million+4.4%

    These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$126.2 billion or more than four-fifths (82.4%) by value for all products exported from Sweden during 2017.

    Sweden’s capital city is Stockholm.

    See also Sweden’s Top 10 Imports, Sweden’s Top Trading Partners and European Union’s Top 10 Exports

    Research Sources:
    International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 25, 2018

    The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 25, 2018

    Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 25, 2018

    Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 25, 2018

    Wikipedia, List of Companies of Sweden. Accessed on March 25, 2018

    Wikipedia, Sweden. Accessed on March 25, 2018

    Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 25, 2018

    Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 13, 2016