Sweden’s Top 15 Trading Partners

Sweden's Top 15 Trading Partners

Teborg night lights

Bordering Norway and Finland and connected to Denmark via bridge-tunnel, Sweden is a country in northern Europe. Its official name is the Kingdom of Sweden.

Sweden shipped US$1309.5 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents roughly 0.9% of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion one year earlier in 2015.

From a continental perspective, 71.1% of Sweden’s total exports by value in 2016 were delivered to other European trade partners.

Asian importers purchased 12.9% of Swedish shipments while 8.4% worth of product arrived in North America.

At 2.3%, a smaller portion of Swedish exports were bought by Africa-based importers.

Sweden’s Top 15 Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Sweden’s top trading partners in terms of export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Swedish shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Swedish exports.

  1. Germany: US$14.3 billion (10.3% of total Swedish exports)
  2. Norway: $14.1 billion (10.1%)
  3. United States: $9.8 billion (7%)
  4. Denmark: $9.7 billion (6.9%)
  5. Finland: $9.4 billion (6.7%)
  6. United Kingdom: $8.2 billion (5.9%)
  7. Netherlands: $7.4 billion (5.3%)
  8. Belgium: $6.3 billion (4.5%)
  9. France: $6.1 billion (4.3%)
  10. China: $5.3 billion (3.8%)
  11. Poland: $4.5 billion (3.2%)
  12. Italy: $3.7 billion (2.6%)
  13. Spain: $2.7 billion (1.9%)
  14. Japan: $2 billion (1.5%)
  15. Switzerland: $1.7 billion (1.2%)

Three-quarters (75.4%) of Swedish exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Poland increased its import purchases from Sweden at the fastest pace, up 34.9% from 2009 to 2016.

In second place was Belgium (up 32%), followed by China (up 29.5%) and Switzerland (up 28.6%).

Cutbacks in imports from Sweden over the 7-year period ranged from -7.9% for Italy and -9.2% for France to -16.1% for the United Kingdom and -13.6% for Spain.

Deficits

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. Overall, Sweden incurred a -$1.2 billion trade deficit during 2016 reversing an $11.2 billion surplus in 2009.

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.

Sweden incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Germany: -US$12.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
  2. Netherlands: -$4 billion
  3. China: -$2.6 billion
  4. Russia: -$2.2 billion
  5. Ireland: -$1.2 billion
  6. Estonia: -$1 billion
  7. Denmark: -$973.2 million
  8. Czech Republic: -$950.4 million
  9. Italy: -$872 million
  10. Vietnam: -$865.3 million

Among Sweden’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Swedish deficits with Estonia (up 695.5%), China (up 474.9%) and Netherlands (up 133.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Sweden’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Sweden to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

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.

Sweden incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. United States: US$6.1 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
  2. Norway: $3.1 billion
  3. Finland: $3 billion
  4. Australia: $1.2 billion
  5. Saudi Arabia: $961.9 million
  6. United Kingdom: $908.6 million
  7. Spain: $834.2 million
  8. Canada: $725.4 million
  9. Egypt: $706.8 million
  10. United Arab Emirates: $636.7 million

Among Swedish trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Swedenn surpluses with United States (up 59.2%), United Arab Emirates (up 51.6%) and Finland (up 35.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Sweden’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Sweden to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Swedish Trading Partners

Twenty-six corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015. Below is a sample of the major Swedish companies that Forbes included:

  • Ericsson (communications equipment)
  • Volvo Group (heavy equipment)
  • Atlas Copco (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • SCA (household, personal care)
  • Sandvik (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Assa Abloy (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Autoliv (automotive parts)
  • SKF Group (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Electrolux Group (household appliances)
  • Alfa Laval (miscellaneous industrial equipment)
  • Hexagon (miscellaneous industrial 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)


 
See also Sweden’s Top 10 Imports, Sweden’s Top 10 Exports, Highest Value Swedish Import Products and Highest Value Swedish Export Products

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 27, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 27, 2017

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 27, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 27, 2017

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 24, 2016