Sweden shipped US$140.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2015. That figure represents roughly 0.75% of overall global exports estimated at $18.686 trillion in 2014.
From a continental perspective, 70.3% of Sweden’s total exports by value in 2015 were delivered to other European trade partners.
Asian importers purchased 13.2% of Swedish shipments while 8.5% worth of product arrived in North America.
At 2.6%, a smaller portion of Swedish exports were bought by African importers.
Sweden’s Top 15 Trading Partners
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 2015. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Swedish exports.
- Norway: US$14.1 billion (10.1% of total Sweden exports)
- Germany: $14 billion (10%)
- United States: $10.2 billion (7.3%)
- United Kingdom: $9.8 billion (7%)
- Denmark: $9.5 billion (6.8%)
- Finland: $9.3 billion (6.6%)
- Netherlands: $7.2 billion (5.1%)
- Belgium: $5.9 billion (4.2%)
- France: $5.7 billion (4.1%)
- China: $5.3 billion (3.8%)
- Poland: $4.3 billion (3%)
- Italy: $3.6 billion (2.6%)
- Spain: $2.7 billion (1.9%)
- Japan: $1.8 billion (1.3%)
- Russia: $1.7 billion (1.2%)
Three-quarters (75%) of Swedish exports in 2015 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
All countries on the list of top importers cut back on their imports from Sweden from 2011 to 2015. Declines ranged from -8.6% for the United States and -11.3% for Poland to -31.9% for France and -58.4% for Russia.
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.
In 2015, Sweden incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- Germany: -US$10.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2015)
- Netherlands: -$4.3 billion
- Russia: -$2.8 billion
- China: -$1.7 billion
- Ireland: -$1.3 billion
- Estonia: -$1.1 billion
- Denmark: -$1.1 billion
- Czech Republic: -$976.3 million
- Italy: -$843.3 million
- Vietnam: -$765.9 million
Among Sweden’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Swedish deficits with Vietnam (up 186.3%) and Netherlands (up 123.6%) and China (up 112.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2011 to 2015.
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.
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.
In 2015, Sweden incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- United States: US$6.4 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2015)
- Finland: $2.9 billion
- Norway: $2.8 billion
- United Kingdom: $2.2 billion
- Australia: $1.1 billion
- Saudi Arabia: $1.1 billion
- Spain: $837.1 million
- United Arab Emirates: $726.3 million
- Egypt: $685.5 million
- Canada: $672.3 million
Among Sweden’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Swedish surpluses with Finland (up 56.8%), United Arab Emirates (up 18.8%) and the United States (up 12%) grew at the fastest pace from 2011 to 2015.
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 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:
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, Highest Value Swedish Import Products and Highest Value Swedish Export Products
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 24, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on April 24, 2016
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on April 24, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 24, 2016
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 24, 2016