Road vehicles and petroleum products among the Nordic region top trade products

2022 05 31

News

The Nordic region’s trading with other countries has for the last twenty years continuously resulted in a trade surplus [1]. During the whole period, Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials has been the most valuable export commodity group and, together with Road vehicles, one of the five most valuable import commodity groups.

In 2021, the combined value of the exports of the Nordic region was around 460 billion euros. Correspondingly, the combined value of the region’s imports was 395 billion euros. In both cases this is an all-time high. The commodity group with the highest export value during the year was Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials while the group with the highest import value was Road vehicles.

In this analysis export is defined as all exports, in Euro, to countries both within and outside the Nordic region. Imports are in the same way defined as all imports, in Euro, from countries both within and outside the Nordic region. Product groups are defined according to the UN Standard International Trade Classification (SITC).

The analysis is mainly focused on the most important 2021 export and import commodity groups and their historical variations. Import values are not available for Greenland and Iceland for 2021 but historically they account for less than two percent of the total Nordic import values. Export values are not available for Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands for 2021 but historically they account for less than two percent of the total Nordic export values. Values for Åland are not separately available, but they are included in the values for Finland.

EXPORT

The most important export commodity group for the Nordic region is Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials. In 2021 this group together with Natural and manufactured gas accounted for 23 percent of the Nordic region’s total export value. That was an increase of around ten percentage points compared to the pandemic year 2020 but for Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials in line with levels the years before. Norway accounted for more than 95 percent of exported Natural and manufactured gas and 70 percent of exported Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials.

Medical and pharmaceutical products, Road vehicles as well as Other chemicals and related products not elsewhere specified are also important export products for the Nordic region. Denmark accounted for 61 percent of exported Medical and pharmaceutical products in 2021, and Sweden for 71 percent of Road vehicle export. In the same year Sweden accounted for 45 percent and Finland for 25 percent of Other chemicals and related products, not elsewhere specified.

Source: Nordic statistics database. FOTR46: Exports, 1000 euro, by reporting country, commodity and time.

Denmark had the third largest export value of the Nordic countries in 2021. The top export commodity was Medical and pharmaceutical products, the value of which has more than doubled in the past ten years.

The most important export product for Finland in 2021 was Paper, paperboard and articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard. The export value of this commodity group has been steady over the last ten years. A commodity group almost as big in 2021 was Other chemicals and related products, not elsewhere specified.The value of this export almost doubled in the same ten year period.

For the Faroe Islands and Greenland, the most important export product by far was Fish, crustaceans, mollusc and aquatic invertebrates and preparations thereof. In 2020, it accounted for 84 percent of Faroe Islands’ and 97 percent of Greenland’s total export value.

Iceland had two major commodity groups: Fish, crustaceans, mollusc and aquatic invertebrates and preparations thereof and Non-ferrous metals. They accounted for 44 and 35 percent of the total export value in 2021, respectively.

Norway had the second largest export value of the Nordic countries in 2021. The main export groups were Natural and manufactured gas and Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials. Together they accounted for 71 percent of Norway´s export value in 2021. The values have been quite volatile over time, and they were substantially higher in 2021 than in 2020.

Sweden had the largest export value of the Nordic countries in 2021. The commodity group with the largest export value in 2021 was Road vehicles, a group that has been in a quite steady increase over the past ten years, however with a decrease in 2020.

IMPORT

The most important import commodity group for the Nordic region in 2021 was Road vehicles, accounting for about 10 percent of the value of all import during the year. Sweden accounted for 39 percent of this, Norway for almost 26 percent, Denmark for just under 20 percent and Finland for 15 percent.

Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials and Other chemicals and related products, not elsewhere specified are also important product groups for the Nordic region, each accounting for 6-8 percent of all import during recent years.

Source: Nordic statistics database. FOTR45: Imports, 1000 euro, by reporting country, commodity and time.

Denmark had the second largest import value of the Nordic countries in 2021. Road vehicles, Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials and Other chemicals and related products, not elsewhere specified, each accounted for around 8 percent of the total import value. All top ten import product groups exhibit increases in imported value in 2021 compared with the previous year, Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials the largest one with 95 percent.

For the Faroe Islands the import of Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials had the by far greatest value, almost 20 percent of the total import value. The value of this group has seen a 50 percent increase in the last year. Of the other top ten import product groups the majority also showed an increase in value in 2021, with a doubling of the import value of Fish, crustaceans, mollusc and aquatic invertebrates and preparations thereof and Machinery specialised for particular industries.

Finland had the third largest import value of the Nordic countries in 2021. For Finland a few import product groups are equal in size – Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials, Road vehicles and Other chemicals and related products, not elsewhere specified all account for nine percent each of the country’s total import value in 2021. All top ten import product groups have increased in value since last year, Metalliferous ores and metal scrap the most, with 90 percent.

For Greenland, three import product groups have dominated in recent years: Other transport equipment, Other food and live animals and Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials. In 2020, they accounted for 34 percent of the total import value, but in 2019 it was as much as 50 percent.

For Iceland the major categories have been varying over time. Four important categories in recent years are Road vehicles, Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, Metalliferous ores and metal scrap and Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials. The value of these import groups together has varied over time, especially for Road vehicles, but together they have accounted for between 24 and 42 percent of Iceland’s total import value over the past 20 years.

Norway had the fourth largest import value of the Nordic countries in 2021. The by far leading import product group for Norway is Road vehicles. In 2021 it accounted for 17 percent of the total import value. In comparison, the second largest group in 2021 Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances accounted for 8 percent.

Just as with exports, Sweden had the highest import value in 2021. Road vehicles is the product group with the highest import value, corresponding to ten percent of the total value. Other chemicals and related products, not elsewhere specified and Petroleum, petroleum products and related materials share the second place with eight percent, respectively. These three groups have been dominating with the highest import value for almost all of the past 20 years, although the mutual order varied.

As mentioned above the insights in this article is based on export and import goods being classified into the UN SITC classification.

 

[1] https://www.nordicstatistics.org/germany-is-the-most-important-trading-partner-for-the-nordic-region/