Year over year, the overall value of goods exported from Norway accelerated by 68.5% compared to $160.5 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Norwegian krone has depreciated by -18.2% against the US dollar since 2018 and diluted by -11.9% from 2021 to 2022. Norway’s weaker local currency makes Norwegian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Norway’s 5 biggest exports ranked by international revenues for 2022 were petroleum gases, crude oil, fresh whole fish, refined petroleum oils and raw aluminum. Collectively, that cohort of major commodities accounts for over four-fifths (83.3%) of Norwegian exports.
Norway benefits from higher energy prices. More than three-quarters (77.1%) of Norwegian export sales were for petroleum gases, crude oil and, to a lesser degree, refined petroleum oils.
Norway’s Best International Trade Customers
Geographically, Norway’s closest trading partners are Finland, Russia and Denmark.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 90.5% of products exported from Norway were bought by importers in: Germany (27.9% of the global total), United Kingdom (21.4%), France (9.4%), Belgium (7.6%), Netherlands (6.4%), Sweden (6%), Denmark (2.4%), Finland (2.3%), Poland (also 2.3%), mainland China (2%), United States of America (1.9%) and Spain (0.9%).
From a continental perspective, 90.5% of Norway’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 5.1% were sold to Asian importers. Norway shipped another 2.5% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages went to Africa (1.1%), Latin America (0.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Norway’s population of 5.445 million people, its total $270.4 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $49,000 for every resident in the Nordic nation. That per-capita average is almost twice the average $29,500 one year earlier in 2021.
Norway’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Norwegian global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Norway.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$213.3 billion (78.9% of total exports)
- Fish: $15 billion (5.6%)
- Aluminum: $6.5 billion (2.4%)
- Machinery including computers: $4.2 billion (1.6%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.9 billion (1.1%)
- Nickel: $2.1 billion (0.8%)
- Iron, steel: $2 billion (0.8%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.6 billion (0.6%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $1.24 billion (0.5%)
- Vehicles: $1.18 billion (0.4%)
Norway’s top 10 exports accounted for 92% of the overall revenues for its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 98.7% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales was inorganic chemicals which rose 61.2%.
Norway’s shipments of iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 31.4% year over year.
The leading decliner among Norway’s top 10 export categories was electrical machinery and equipment, dragged down by a 5% reduction.
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 Norway’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.
Products Driving Greatest Trade Surpluses for Norway
Norway generated an overall $163.8 billion trade surplus during 2022, expanding by 164.9% from $61.8 billion in black ink one year earlier for 2021.
The following types of Norwegian 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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$202.3 billion (Up by 98.5% since 2021)
- Fish: $14.6 billion (Up by 12.9%)
- Aluminum: $4.8 billion (Up by 29.5%)
- Iron, steel: $856.4 million (Up by 65.6%)
- Zinc: $647.5 million (Up by 22.1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $519.1 million (Down by -16.8%)
- Woodpulp: $267.8 million (Up by 4.4%)
- Arms, ammunition: $234.7 million (Up by 34.3%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $152.4 million (Down by -9%)
- Other base metals: $37 million (Down by -60.5%)
Norway has highly positive net exports in the international trade of petroleum gases, crude oil and refined petroleum oils. In turn, these cashflows indicate Norway’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil category.
Products Causing Biggest Trade Deficits for Norway
Below are exports from Norway that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Norway’s goods trail Norwegian importer spending on foreign products.
- Vehicles: -US$11.7 billion (Up by 1.3% since 2021)
- Machinery including computers: -$7.7 billion (Down by -3.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$6.6 billion (Up by 5.4%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$3.4 billion (Down by -3%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: -$2.7 billion (Down by -2.1%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.5 billion (Down by -4.4%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$2.1 billion (Down by -6.2%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$1.34 billion (Down by -8.2%)
- Food industry waste, animal fodder: -$1.31 billion (Up by 24.2%)
- Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$1.3 billion (Up by 13.3%)
Norway has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for road vehicles–notably cars, trucks, automobile parts and trailers.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Norway’s competitive disadvantages in the international automotive market, but also represent key opportunities for Norway to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations or volume discount negotiations.
Major Norwegian Export Companies
Nine Norwegian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major Norwegian export companies that Forbes included.
- Norsk Hydro (aluminum)
- Orkla (industrial conglomerates)
- Statoil (oil, gas)
- Telenor (telecommunications)
- Yara International (specialized chemicals)
Wikipedia also lists exporters from Norway. Selected examples are shown below.
- Cermaq (fish)
- Norske Skogindustrier, (pulp, paper)
- The Jotun Group (paints, related chemicals)
- Thin Film Electronics ASA (printed electronics)
- Tine (dairy products)
- Yara International (chemicals)
Searchable List of Norway’s Most Valuable Export Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Norway during 2022 sorted by value. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021.
|Rank||Norwegian Export Product||Value (US$)||YOY|
|3||Whole fish (fresh)||$8,895,089,000||+12.9%|
|4||Processed petroleum oils||$7,448,531,000||+18.6%|
|7||Fish fillets, pieces||$3,071,886,000||+15.8%|
|9||Whole fish (frozen)||$1,843,478,000||+6.2%|
|11||Hydrogen, rare gases||$1,022,759,000||+79.8%|
|12||Dried, salted and smoked fish||$964,174,000||+13.4%|
|14||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$713,592,000||+12.9%|
|15||Cruise/cargo ships, barges||$679,901,000||-32.5%|
|20||Medication mixes in dosage||$446,553,000||+3.4%|
|21||Liquid pumps and elevators||$440,957,000||-16.3%|
|24||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$349,649,000||-5.4%|
|26||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$338,055,000||+2.1%|
|29||Phone system devices||$327,037,000||+2.4%|
|31||Uncoated paper for writing/printing||$303,583,000||+31.8%|
|32||Computers, optical readers||$294,593,000||+2.7%|
|33||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$291,316,000||+16.9%|
|34||Iron or steel scrap||$281,953,000||-1.3%|
|35||Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)||$280,603,000||-5%|
|36||Pebbles, gravel, crushed stone||$277,729,000||+5.3%|
|37||Aircraft or spacecraft parts||$274,200,000||0%|
|38||Other diagnostic/lab reagents||$264,719,000||-7.9%|
|39||Other food preparations||$260,356,000||+3.2%|
|40||Liquid/gas checking instruments||$260,122,000||-16.1%|
|41||Electrical converters/power units||$259,800,000||+5%|
|43||Bombs, grenades, ammunition||$251,584,000||+8.4%|
|44||Fish/marine mammal fats and oils||$230,619,000||+12.2%|
|45||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$229,175,000||-16%|
|46||Chemical woodpulp (dissolving)||$218,922,000||+3.6%|
|48||Navigational aids, compasses||$197,384,000||+0.8%|
|49||Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$194,653,000||+20.4%|
|50||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$193,469,000||+7.4%|
|51||Aluminum waste, scrap||$191,397,000||+24.8%|
|52||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$187,697,000||+9.6%|
|53||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$183,849,000||-4.5%|
|55||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$176,743,000||-1.2%|
|57||Metal-containing ash, residues||$171,480,000||+1.6%|
|59||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$156,982,000||-13.8%|
|60||Inedible meat flour||$154,136,000||-20.2%|
|61||Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods||$148,707,000||+5.4%|
|62||Air or vacuum pumps||$147,975,000||+17.7%|
|63||Copper waste, scrap||$147,399,000||-4%|
|64||Piston engine parts||$147,071,000||+30.9%|
|65||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$145,016,000||-3.4%|
|67||Iron ores, concentrates||$143,214,000||-23.2%|
|68||Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs||$140,011,000||+8.4%|
|69||Carbon electrodes, brushes||$137,177,000||+30.3%|
|70||Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$129,529,000||+11.3%|
|71||Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)||$127,458,000||-0.9%|
|72||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$127,100,000||+26.4%|
|73||Fishing vessels, factory ships||$125,947,000||+285.6%|
|74||Other military weapons||$124,722,000||+116.3%|
|76||Other measuring/testing machines||$115,236,000||-13%|
|77||Other precious metal items||$112,839,000||+12.5%|
|78||TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras||$109,207,000||-21.4%|
|79||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$107,486,000||-3.5%|
|81||Chemical industry products/residuals||$106,570,000||-0.8%|
|82||Agricultural, horticultural, forestry machines||$105,566,000||-1.7%|
|83||Vegetable parchment, tracing papers||$103,830,000||+11.4%|
|84||Finishing agents, dye carriers, fixers||$102,864,000||-3.8%|
|85||Arms parts, accessories||$100,732,000||+16.2%|
|86||Physical/chemical analysis tools||$100,562,000||+3%|
|87||Miscellaneous engines, motors||$100,032,000||+4.3%|
|88||Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues||$96,710,000||-1.9%|
|89||Calculators, accounting/ticket machines, cash registers||$95,990,000||-10%|
|93||Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)||$91,694,000||+135.8%|
|94||Computer parts, accessories||$91,248,000||-11.4%|
|96||Quartz (not natural sands)||$87,041,000||+39.6%|
|97||Electric storage batteries||$86,027,000||+19.1%|
|98||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$84,762,000||-20%|
|99||Miscellaneous plastic items||$84,383,000||+36.4%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of $256.6 billion or 94.9% by value for all products exported from Norway during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, Norway’s total exported goods represent 63.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($425.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 63.5% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2022 compares to 42.2% in 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Norway’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Norway’s unemployment rate averaged 3.9% for 2022, down from an average 4.41% jobless rate for 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Norway’s capital city is Oslo.
See also Norway’s Top Trading Partners, Norway’s Top 10 Imports and Capital Facts for Oslo, Norway
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on March 24, 2023
Forbes 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 24, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 24, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 24, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 24, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on March 24, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Norway. Accessed on March 24, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on March 24, 2023
Wikipedia, Norway. Accessed on March 24, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on March 24, 2023