In 2021, Norway registered its biggest trade surplus of all time

International tradePhoto: Tyler Casey / Unsplash

Norway exported a record high of NOK 1,377.8 billion in 2021, which contributed to the current trade surplus of NOK 531 billion.

According to Statistics Norway, the high prices for energy products, metals, and fish increased export revenues in the past year.

Total exports of goods increased by 77% compared with the previous year, and a sharp increase in export revenues from oil and gas was particularly strong. These revenues accounted for more than 60% of all merchandise exports in 2021, compared with 42% in 2020.

“After a turbulent 2020, with low prices for important export goods such as oil, gas, electric power, and fish, Norwegian exports came back strongly in 2021,” section manager for foreign trade statistics Espen Kristiansen said.

Imports, on the other hand, amounted to NOK 846.8 billion.

Sky-high prices

The pandemic has led to increased demand for goods at the expense of services. High demand in combination with supply problems, inflation in raw materials, and transport costs have created scarcity, delays, and increased price pressure in 2021.

This has been beneficial for Norway, with sky-high prices for gas and electricity.

“Goods we export have had much higher price growth on average than goods we import,” Kristiansen said.

The value of natural gas exports came to NOK 475.8 billion in 2021, more than quadrupling from the previous year and by far the highest export value ever. The large increase is due to sky-high gas prices, especially in the last half of 2021.

Thus, gas revenues ended up being higher than oil revenues, even though the latter were also at their highest since 2008, with the export value for crude oil reaching NOK 349.6 billion.

Mainland exports ended the year with another record month and amounted to NOK 51.3 billion in December.

Increased import prices

Although exports were significantly higher than imports, imports have not become cheaper either.

The SSB figures show an increase in the prices of imported goods of 7.6% from the previous year, which is the biggest change measured since 2004. Imports last year were NOK 82.1 billion higher than the year before.

About a quarter of this increase is due to high imports of cars, which increased by 36.5% compared with the previous year and amounted to NOK 72.1 billion in 2021. The majority of this is again due to electric cars, where the import value was NOK 48.2 billion, as much as 60.7% more than in 2020.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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