Trade surplus remains low
External economy
muh, External trade in goods, import, export, balance of trade (export minus import), mainland exports, imports excluding ships and oil platforms, trade ( between countries, continents and trade regions), international product groups (for example hs, sitc and bec), product groups (for example food, crude oil and metals)External trade , External economy

External trade in goodsJuly 2016, preliminary figures



Next release:


As from 23 September, all of Statistics Norway’s statistics will be released at 8 am.

Trade surplus remains low

The trade surplus was down 44.5 per cent in July 2016 compared to last year. The value of the oil exports saw only a small decline, while exports of natural gas and the mainland exports experienced larger drops. The imports of electrical cars were also down.

External trade in goods1
NOK MillionChange in per centNOK Million - so far this yearChange in per cent - so far this year
July 2016June 2016 - July 2016July 2015 - July 2016July 2016July 2015 - July 2016
1The figures are marked with the symbol *. This is Statistics Norways standard symbol for indicating preliminary figures.
2Due 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.
Imports45 166-14.81.2341 194-4.2
Ships and oil platforms21-100.0-99.95 436-77.1
Exports59 118-1.3-15.2415 410-15.5
Crude oil16 47619.1-1.896 105-21.4
Natural gas12 00423.9-33.990 582-28.9
Natural gas condensates434-22.1197.02 454-23.4
Ships and oil platforms23-99.7-99.72 101-43.9
Mainland exports30 201-13.2-10.4224 168-4.7
The trade balance13 951102.3-44.574 216-45.2
The mainland trade balance-14 9647.6-49.1-111 590-14.7

The trade surplus ended at NOK 14.0 billion in July 2016. Exports were down by 15.2 per cent, ending at NOK 59.1 billion. Imports were up by 1.2 per cent, reaching NOK 45.2 billion.

Highest monthly value for crude oil export this year

Exports of crude oil ended at NOK 16.5 billion in July 2016, and fell only 1.8 per cent from July last year. 

The number of barrels exported was 6.7 million higher in July 2016 than in the corresponding month last year. This was a rise of 17.6 per cent and is the reason behind the small decrease in the export value of crude oil. The oil price pulled in the opposite direction and was NOK 369 in July 2016; down NOK 73 from July 2015. 

Natural gas exports ended at NOK 12.0 billion in July 2016 and were down 33.9 per cent compared to July last year. The decline was mainly caused by lower prices. Exports of natural gas in a gaseous state were 8.4 billion standard cubic metres; a drop of 5.7 per cent. 

Refined petroleum products and metals pull mainland exports down 

Mainland exports amounted to NOK 30.2 billion in July 2016. This was NOK 3.5 billion lower than the same period last year, which represents a fall of 10.4 per cent.

The main explanation for this lies with the export of refined petroleum products, where the exported value was down by 38.4 per cent and ended at NOK 3 billion. Furthermore, exports of liquefied propane and butane also dropped and ended at NOK 755 million; down 28.0 per cent. Both drops are due to reduced volume and prices.

Exports of iron and steel were NOK 835 million in July 2016, and a decline in the export volume caused a drop of 17.0 per cent compared to July 2015. The export value of machinery and transport equipment was down NOK 2.4 billion in the same period.

Mainland exports pulled upwards due to exports of fish

The export value of fish amounted to NOK 6.4 billion in July 2016; an increase of 17.4 per cent compared to July 2015. The price of fresh whole salmon was NOK 66 in July, up NOK 1 from the previous record high price in June this year. The export value was NOK 3.8 billion, up 28.4 per cent from July in 2015. On the other hand, the volume exported was down by 14.5 per cent. 

Increase in imports of metalliferous ores and decrease in cars

The value of imports increased by 1.2 per cent compared to July last year, reaching NOK 45.2 billion.

Imports of metalliferous ores were up by NOK 369.8 million, or 39.5 per cent – ending at NOK 1.3 billion in July 2016. However, this is not a particularly high import value. The rise is due to a low value last year. Furthermore, imports in the main commodity group machinery and transport in July 2016 are almost the same as the level of last July. Due to a small growth of 1.2 per cent, imports for this group ended at NOK 17.8 billion.

In the opposite direction, imports of passenger cars dropped by 8.7 per cent from July 2015. The import value was NOK 3 billion in the same month in 2016. The main explanation is the halving of imports of electrical cars. The import value was down by NOK 227 million. In general, prices of cars are higher in 2016.