Sweden’s Top 15 Trading Partners

Sweden's Top 15 Trading Partners

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

Sweden shipped US$153.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That figure represents roughly 1% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective, almost three-quarters (71.1%) of Swedish exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 13.4% were sold to Asian importers.

Sweden shipped smaller percentages to North America (7.8%), Africa (1.9%) and Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.5%).

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 2017. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Swedish exports.

  1. Germany: US$16.4 billion (10.7% of total Swedish exports)
  2. Norway: $15.5 billion (10.1%)
  3. Finland: $10.5 billion (6.9%)
  4. Denmark: $10.4 billion (6.8%)
  5. United States: $10.1 billion (6.6%)
  6. United Kingdom: $9.3 billion (6.1%)
  7. Netherlands: $8.3 billion (5.4%)
  8. China: $6.8 billion (4.4%)
  9. Belgium: $6.5 billion (4.3%)
  10. France: $6.3 billion (4.1%)
  11. Poland: $4.6 billion (3%)
  12. Italy: $4 billion (2.6%)
  13. Spain: $2.9 billion (1.9%)
  14. Japan: $2.2 billion (1.5%)
  15. Russia: $2.1 billion (1.4%)

Just over three-quarters (75.7%) of Swedish exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Russia increased its import purchases from Sweden at the fastest pace, up 28.9% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place was China (up 27.7%), followed by Germany (up 15%), UK (up 13.4%) then Finland (up 11.8%).

Deficits

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.

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.

Sweden incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Germany: -US$12.4 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Netherlands: -$5.3 billion
  3. Russia: -$2.3 billion
  4. China: -$1.6 billion
  5. Poland: -$1.4 billion
  6. Nigeria: -$1.1 billion
  7. Italy: -$979.3 million
  8. Czech Republic: -$967.4 million
  9. Vietnam: -$932.7 million
  10. Ireland: -$895.5 million

Among Sweden’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Sweden’s deficits with Nigeria (up 131.5%), Poland (up 92%) and China (up 35.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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$6.3 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. Norway: $3.7 billion
  3. Finland: $3.3 billion
  4. United Kingdom: $1.4 billion
  5. Australia: $1.4 billion
  6. Saudi Arabia: $973.4 million
  7. Spain: $759.5 million
  8. Egypt: $696.9 million
  9. Canada: $681.2 million
  10. United Arab Emirates: $677.1 million

Among Sweden’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Sweden’s surpluses with United Kingdom (up 59.9%), Norway (up 48.7%) and Australia (up 15.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

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. 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)


 
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 25, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 25, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. 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 24, 2016