Shrinking trade surplus
The trade surplus came to NOK 26.6 billion in April. This was a decline of just under 30 per cent compared to both last month and April last year. Two of the main reasons were a significant increase in imports and a decline in crude oil exports.
|NOK Million||Change in per cent||NOK Million - so far this year||Change in per cent - so far this year|
|April 2013||March 2013 - April 2013||April 2012 - April 2013||April 2013||April 2012 - April 2013|
|1Due to the data collection method, the preliminary monthly figures published for ships and oil platforms are often incomplete. In retrospect, therefore, the trade in these goods could in some cases lead to major corrections in the figures. Please see tables 2-4 for the impact these figures have on the external trade.|
|Imports||45 255||17.8||17.6||166 753||3.6|
|Ships and oil platforms1||-||-100.0||-100.0||2 213||-25.3|
|Exports||71 886||-5.9||-5.4||297 070||-11.8|
|Crude oil||19 776||-18.9||-24.7||89 281||-21.6|
|Natural gas||21 731||5.1||7.8||83 958||-11.8|
|Natural gas condensates||538||-33.1||-66.7||3 016||-39.8|
|Ships and oil platforms1||100||-82.8||-78.0||1 537||-18.8|
|Mainland exports||29 741||-0.6||8.4||119 278||-1.2|
|The trade balance||26 631||-29.8||-28.9||130 316||-25.8|
|The mainland trade balance||-15 514||-94.7||-48.5||-45 262||21.3|
The value of imports was NOK 45.3 billion, up 17.8 per cent from March this year and up 17.6 per cent from April 2012. The exports, which were NOK 71.9 billion, declined by 5.9 per cent compared to March and by 5.4 per cent compared to a year ago. When interpreting these figures it should be borne in mind that Easter was in March in 2013 and in April in 2012.
Decline in crude oil exports
The value of crude oil exports was NOK 19.8 billion in April. This was down 24.7 per cent from the same month last year. The mean price of a barrel of crude oil was below NOK 600 for the first time since June 2012. Furthermore, more than 5 million fewer barrels were exported compared to both last month and April last year. The amount of exported barrels was 33 million.
Increased export value of natural gas
Natural gas exports came to NOK 21.7 billion. This was an increase of 5.1 per cent from March this year and 7.8 per cent from April 2012. The export value of natural gas was thus higher than that of crude oil. The volume of exports for natural gas in a gaseous state was 9.1 billion standard cubic metres. This was about 200 million more than April last year, but down more than 400 million standard cubic metres from last month.
Mainland exports at NOK 30 billion
Mainland exports came to NOK 29.7 billion in April. This was a rise of 8.4 per cent from same period last year, but down 0.6 per cent from last month.
The exported value of fish increased by NOK 771 million compared to April last year, and was NOK 4.3 billion. High prices for exports of fresh salmon contributed to the increase. The group organic chemicals increased by more than NOK 400 million to about NOK 1.1 billion, while electrical machinery and apparatus came to NOK 1.3 billion after an increase of NOK 647 million.
The sub-group refined mineral products declined by NOK 284 million compared to the same month last year, while exports of electric current were down NOK 256 million to NOK 186 million for April. The group non-ferrous metals declined by NOK 206 million to NOK 3 billion, while exports of other transport equipment including ships was NOK 267 million lower than the same period last year.
Increased imports of cars
In April, imports came to NOK 45.3 billion, which was up just under 18 per cent from both last month and April last year.
Most commodity groups increased compared to the same period last year. The import value of road vehicles increased by NOK 900 million from a year ago, and came to NOK 5.2 billion. About 18 500 cars were imported in April 2013. This was about 3 000 more than both March 2013 and April 2012. The imports of general industrial machinery and equipment, and the group electrical machinery and apparatus increased by NOK 460 million and NOK 474 million respectively. The import of electric current was NOK 672 million. This led to net imports of electric current of close to NOK 500 million in April. Manufactures of metals increased by NOK 795 million, and came to NOK 2.5 billion.
The biggest decline was in the group other transport equipment, which includes commodities like ships and aircraft, which may lead to the group exhibiting large fluctuations in value from month to month. This group was NOK 402 million lower than the corresponding period last year, with NOK 1.2 billion in April 2013.
We are in the process of developing an improved system for validation of this information. Figures by county for the period 2008 and onwards will be revised. Only the breakdown by county will be changed, not the overall total value. The revised figures will be published on 15 June.
At 10 am on 15 May 2013, Statistic’s Norway’s website ssb.no will be updated with final figures for 2012 and corrected final figures for 2011. The revision was mainly related to the exports of natural gas, crude oil and natural gas condensates, see Table 14: Changes in Norwegian imports and exports. 2011 og 2012 for main changes.
The changes have also been made in Statbank.
National accounts and balance of payments will be revised for the years 2011 and 2012 in November 2013 and May 2013 respectively.