Based on the average exchange rate for 2020, the Swedish krona depreciated by -7.6% against the US dollar since 2016 but strengthened by 2.6% from 2019 to 2020. Sweden’s stronger local currency since 2019 made its imports paid for in weaker US dollars relatively less expensive when converted starting from the Swedish krona.
From a continental perspective, 83% 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 (3.2%), Latin America (0.63%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Africa (0.62%) then Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia.
Given Sweden ‘s population of 10.4 million people, its total $149.8 billion in 2020 imports translates to roughly $14,400 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 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Sweden.
- Machinery including computers: US$20.5 billion (13.7% of total imports)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $20.1 billion (13.4%)
- Vehicles: $16.7 billion (11.1%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $11.7 billion (7.8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $5.6 billion (3.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $5.5 billion (3.6%)
- Fish: $4.7 billion (3.1%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $4.5 billion (3%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $3.8 billion (2.5%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $3.7 billion (2.5%)
Sweden’s top 10 imports accounted for almost two-thirds (64.6%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Three of Sweden’s top import categories posted double-digit cost increases from 2019 to 2020 namely pharmaceuticals (up 12.5%), optical, technical and medical apparatus (up 12.1%) then furniture, bedding, lighting, signs and prefabricated buildings (up 10.9%).
Leading the decliners year over year was the mineral fuels including oil category, dropping -30.5%.
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 2020, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$3.9 billion (up 11.6% from 2019)
- Piston engine parts: $1 billion (down -20.1%)
- Machinery parts: $924.9 million (down -8.8%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $814.1 million (down -5.1%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $791.2 million (up 8.4%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $786.8 million (down -16.2%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $771.3 million (down -7.4%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $767.3 million (down -5.8%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $744.5 million (up 6.3%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $581.1 million (down -11.1%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of computers including optical readers (up 11.6%), centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 8.4%) then refrigerators and freezers (up 6.3%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
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 2020, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.
- Phone system devices: US$6.2 billion (up 4.7% from 2019)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $1.4 billion (up 12.4%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $1.2 billion (down -2.1%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $906.9 million (up 7.4%)
- Microphones/headphones/amps: $857.9 million (up 10.5%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $760.2 million (down -5.5%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $729.3 million (up 11%)
- Electric storage batteries: $725.8 million (up 5.7%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $593.7 million (up 6%)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $481.6 million (down -9.4%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of TV receivers, monitors and projectors (up 12.4%), electric water heaters and hair dryers (up 11%) then microphones, headphones and amplifiers (up 10.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
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 2020, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles-related products.
- Cars: US$8.2 billion (down -5.9% from 2019)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $5.2 billion (down -17.8%)
- Trucks: $1.2 billion (down -22.4%)
- Trailers: $399.9 million (down -12.2%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $317.1 million (down -5.6%)
- Tractors: $269.3 million (down -16.7%)
- Motorcycles: $204.4 million (up 0.1%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $144.3 million (up 2.5%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $115.1 million (down -17.2%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $108.5 million (down -2.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of motorcycle parts or accessories (up 2.5%) and motorcycles: (up 0.1%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
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 2020, Swedish importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$5.6 billion (down -30.9% from 2019)
- Processed petroleum oils: $4.4 billion (down -35%)
- Petroleum gases: $612.2 million (down -10.4%)
- Electrical energy: $368.8 million (down -16.1%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $269.8 million (down -40%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $256.2 million (up 146.4%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $71.1 million (up 1.3%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $31 million (down -80.1%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $9 million (down -10.5%)
- Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $2 million (down -9.6%)
Among these import subcategories, Swedish purchases of high temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 146.4%) and petroleum oil residues (up 1.3%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
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 29, 2021
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on March 29, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 29, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on March 29, 2021
Wikipedia, Sweden. Accessed on March 29, 2021