Norway flag Norway: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Norway

Foreign Trade in Figures

Norway has a very open economy, trade representing 65.4% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). Traditionally, the country exports energy-intensive products and imports high-technology items. The country is among the top 20 exporters of oil and the second-largest natural gas and seafood exporter in the world. Overall, Norway ranks among the 25 biggest global exporters (excluding inter-EU trade). Petroleum oils and gases represent around half of the total exports. Seafood is also among the most exported products (7.6%). Imports are led by motor cars (7%), refined petroleum and broadcasting equipment.

The country's main trade partners are generally member states of the European Union. In 2020, however, the United Kingdom was the top destination of Norwegian exports (17.4%), followed by Germany (11.7%), the Netherlands (9.9%), Sweden (9.9%) and China (7.8%), which was the main supplier of goods and services in Norway (12.1%), followed by Germany (11.5%), Sweden (10.7%), the United States (6.8%) and the UK (5.4%).

Norway’s trade surplus is considerable. However, it is closely linked to global oil and gas prices. Following the global Covid-19-induced crisis and the drop in energy prices, total exports decreased to USD 84.4 billion in 2020 (-7.9%), with imports declining only marginally (USD 80.4 billion, -5.7%). Services exports stood at USD 35.4 billion, against USD 35.8 billion of imports. As a result, the overall trade balance was negative in 2020 for the first time in the last thirty years (-0.4% of GDP – World Bank). According to preliminary data from Statistics Norway, in the first eleven months of 2021 exports totalled NOK 1,196 million (+70% y-o-y), whereas imports stood at NOK 770 million (+9.9% y-o-y).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 72,33581,24986,60085,31980,447
Exports of Goods (million USD) 88,963101,054121,791102,79984,459
Imports of Services (million USD) 47,09249,94452,07652,41736,864
Exports of Services (million USD) 36,40440,84543,29643,28835,414

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 68.969.270.271.065.5
Trade Balance (million USD) 12,92023,20333,81615,670-832
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 6,03613,91025,0656,569-2,022
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.71.91.44.7-11.9
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.11.7-1.20.5-0.5
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 33.532.832.234.733.0
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 35.536.338.036.332.5

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 2.97.14.32.11.3
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.06.23.62.32.3

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Norway is a member of the following international economic organisations:  IMF, European Union, ICC, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), WTO, OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Norway click here. International organisation membership of Norway is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Norway can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
United Kingdom 17.4%
Germany 11.7%
Netherlands 9.9%
Sweden 9.9%
China 7.8%
See More Countries 43.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
China 12.1%
Germany 11.5%
Sweden 10.7%
United States 6.8%
United Kingdom 5.4%
See More Countries 53.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

82.7 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 27.5%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 16.6%
Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and...Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 7.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.5%
Unwrought aluminiumUnwrought aluminium 3.1%
See More Products 40.6%
81.3 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 7.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.4%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line...Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 2.4%
Nickel mattes, nickel oxide sinters and other...Nickel mattes, nickel oxide sinters and other intermediate products of nickel metallurgy : 2.4%
Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.0%
See More Products 83.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

4.2 bn USD of services exported in 2018
45.01%
21.84%
14.66%
4.58%
4.11%
2.84%
2.30%
1.52%
1.37%
1.05%
0.72%
5.0 bn USD of services imported in 2018
35.85%
24.94%
19.04%
8.73%
3.90%
2.40%
1.65%
1.54%
1.34%
0.35%
0.25%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2021. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: June 2022

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