Sweden exported US$197.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2022, up 19.2% compared to $166 billion during 2018.
Year over year, the overall value of Swedish exports increased by 4.2% from $189.8 billion for 2021.
Sweden’s 6 biggest trading partners are Norway, Germany, United States of America, Denmark, Finland, and the United Kingdom. Combined, that half-dozen of leading customers for Sweden’s exported products accounted for almost half (49.8%) of all Swedish exports in 2022.
Applying a continental lens, 73.3% of Sweden’s exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 12.1% were sold to importers in Asia. Sweden shipped another 10.4% worth of goods to North America.
Tinier percentages were sent to customers in Africa (1.7%), Latin America (1.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Sweden’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Sweden’s top trading partners in terms of export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Swedish shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Swedish exports.
- Norway: US$21.2 billion (10.7% of Sweden’s total exports)
- Germany: $19.7 billion (10%)
- United States: $17.5 billion (8.9%)
- Denmark: $14.8 billion (7.5%)
- Finland: $14.4 billion (7.3%)
- United Kingdom: $10.8 billion (5.4%)
- Netherlands: $9.5 billion (4.8%)
- Poland: $7.9 billion (4%)
- France: $7.8 billion (3.9%)
- Belgium: $7.2 billion (3.6%)
- mainland China: $7 billion (3.5%)
- Italy: $5.9 billion (3%)
- Spain: $3.8 billion (1.9%)
- Japan: $2.7 billion (1.4%)
- Lithuania: $2.2 billion (1.1%)
- Türkiye: $1.96 billion (1%)
- Austria: $1.92 billion (1%)
- Estonia: $1.72 billion (0.9%)
- Czech Republic: $1.71 billion (0.9%)
- Switzerland: $1.71 billion (0.9%)
- South Korea: $1.67 billion (0.8%)
- Australia: $1.63 billion (0.8%)
- India: $1.58 billion (0.8%)
- Singapore: $1.43 billion (0.7%)
- Canada: $1.42 billion (0.7%)
Well over four-fifths (85.5%) of Swedish exports in 2022 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
Fastest growers among Sweden’s top customers from 2021 to 2022 were: Lithuania (up 52%), India (up 22.4%), Canada (up 19.7%), United States of America (up 14.7%), and Austria (up 14.1%).
There were 4 decliners year over year namely importers in mainland China (down -10.5% from 2021), Japan (down -2.2%), Netherlands (down -0.9%) and South Korea (down -0.8%).
Country Causing Worst Trade Deficits for Sweden
Overall Sweden racked up a -$4.4 billion trade deficit for 2022, reversing a $2.7 billion trade surplus one year earlier in 2021.
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.
- Netherlands: -US$12 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- Germany: -$11.2 billion
- mainland China: -$7.1 billion
- Norway: -$2.6 billion
- Belgium: -$2 billion
- Vietnam: -$1.45 billion
- Ireland: -$1.42 billion
- Czech Republic: -$1.39 billion
- Nigeria: -$1.3 billion
- Hungary: -$896.5 million
Among Sweden’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Swedish deficits with Nigeria (up 269.4%), Belgium (up 42.5%) and mainland China (up 42.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
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.
Country Generating Biggest Trade Surpluses for Sweden
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.
- United States: US$10.4 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- Finland: $5.2 billion
- United Kingdom: $3.3 billion
- Denmark: $1.8 billion
- Japan: $1.6 billion
- Singapore: $1.32 billion
- France: $1.24 billion
- Saudi Arabia: $1.15 billion
- Australia: $989.1 million
- Canada: $947.7 million
Among Sweden’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Swedish surpluses with France (up 137.2%), Canada (up 49.3%) and Singapore (up 17.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
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.
Sweden’s Major Export Companies
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 and European Union’s Top 10 Exports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 11, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 11, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 11, 2023
Investopedia, Definition Net Exports . Accessed on April 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Sweden. Accessed on April 11, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 11, 2023