The Kingdom of Sweden imported US$158.7 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2019, up by 14.7% since 2015 but down by -6.7% from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Swedish krona depreciated by -12.1% against the US dollar since 2015 and dropped by -8.8% from 2018 to 2019. Sweden’s weaker local currency makes its imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the Swedish krona.
From a continental perspective, 82.1% of Sweden’s total imports by value were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 12.1% of imports bought by Sweden. Smaller percentages came from North America (3.3%), Africa (1.1%), Latin America (0.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.3%) led by Australia.
Given Sweden ‘s population of 10.3 million people, its total $158.7 billion in 2019 imports translates to roughly $15,400 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.
Sweden’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Sweden’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Sweden.
- Machinery including computers: US$21.3 billion (13.4% of total imports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $19.3 billion (12.1%)
- Vehicles : $18.7 billion (11.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $16.7 billion (10.5%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $5.8 billion (3.6%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $4.9 billion (3.1%)
- Fish: $4.9 billion (3.1%)
- Iron, steel: $4.6 billion (2.9%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $4.4 billion (2.7%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $4 billion (2.5%)
Sweden’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (65.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Three of Sweden’s top import categories increased in cost from 2018 to 2019 namely optical, technical and medical apparatus (up 7.9%), pharmaceuticals (up 6.8%) and plastics including items made from plastic (up 0.3%).
Leading the decliners year over year was the mineral fuels including oil category, dropping -17.4%.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2019, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$3.5 billion (down -16.4% from 2018)
- Piston engine parts: $1.2 billion (down -9.6%)
- Machinery parts: $1 billion (down -8.9%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $935.7 million (down -1.9%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $852.7 million (down -4.6%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $830.2 million (up 0.6%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $812.3 million (down -5.2%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $727.8 million (up 2.3%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $699.3 million (down -1.2%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $631.4 million (up 0.8%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 2.3%), miscellaneous machinery (up 0.8%) then taps, valves and similar appliances (up 0.6%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Swedish businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$5.8 billion (down -8.4% from 2018)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $1.2 billion (down -10.3%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $1.2 billion (down -9.4%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $833.6 million (up 0.7%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $789.7 million (down -3.7%)
- Microphones/headphones/amps: $738.7 million (up 4.5%)
- Electric storage batteries: $673.2 million (up 35.4%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $654.4 million (down -4.7%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $558.6 million (up 1.9%)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $532.2 million (up 2.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of electric storage batteries (up 35.4%), microphones, headphones and amplifiers (up 4.5%) then integrated circuits or microassemblies (up 2.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Swedish businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles-related products.
- Cars: US$8.6 billion (down -0.6% from 2018)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $6.3 billion (down -12%)
- Trucks: $1.5 billion (down -13.6%)
- Trailers: $448.2 million (down -10.9%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $335 million (up 76.4%)
- Tractors: $320.5 million (down -23.6%)
- Motorcycles: $199.5 million (up 6.3%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $139.8 million (up 5.4%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $135.9 million (up 31.7%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $107.9 million (down -4.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of public-transport vehicles (up 76.4%), special purpose vehicles (up 31.7%) then motorcycles (up 6.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicle-related products among Swedish businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$8 billion (down -24.3% from 2018)
- Processed petroleum oils: $6.7 billion (down -7.6%)
- Petroleum gases: $674 million (down -17.9%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $444.4 million (down -15%)
- Electrical energy: $442.2 million (down -38.4%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $156.9 million (up 93.2%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $103.3 million (up 115.7%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $70.2 million (down -46.3%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $10.1 million (down -13.9%)
- Peat: $6.4 million (down -32.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of high temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 115.7%) and coke or semi-coke (up 93.2%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported fossil fuel-related products among Swedish businesses and consumers.
See also Sweden’s Top 10 Exports and Sweden’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 22, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 22, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 22, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 22, 2020
Wikipedia, Sweden. Accessed on March 22, 2020