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Foreign trade figures of Sweden

Foreign Trade in Figures

Swedish economy is very open to foreign trade, which represented 85% of its GDP in 2020 (World Bank). In the same year, exports were led by motor cars (7.3%), medicaments (5.9%), petroleum oils (3.5%), telephones (3.2%) and motor vehicle parts (2.7%); with wood and paper products as a whole accounting for 10.1% of exports. Automobiles were also among Sweden's top imports (5.6%), followed by telephones (4.2%), petroleum oils (3.8%) and motor vehicle parts (3.4% - Comtrade).

Norway and Germany were the top destinations for Swedish exports in 2020 (10.5% and 10.4%, respectively), ahead of the U.S. (8.1%), Denmark (7.5%) and Finland (7%). Germany remained the largest supplier of goods to Sweden (18.1%), followed by the Netherlands (9.7%), Norway (9%) and Denmark (6.8%). The European Union as a whole is Sweden's biggest trading partner and the country has a structural deficit from its trade with the EU, which accounted for 52.1% of exports and 67.7% of imports. Overall, Sweden’s exports of goods to EU27 decreased by 7% as imports decreased 6% (Statistics Sweden).

Sweden has a structurally positive trade balance: in 2020, the country recorded a trade surplus accounting for nearly 4.6% of its GDP (up from 4.2% one year earlier - World Bank). Imports of goods hit USD 149.9 billion in 2020, against USD 159 billion a year earlier (-5.7%), whereas exports edged down to USD 155.6 billion from USD 160.5 billion during the period (-3%). As for services, imports lost 8.5% (at USD 68.1) while exports declined at a slower pace (-7.4%) totalling USD 69 billion. According to provisional data from Statistics Sweden, in the period January–September 2021, the value of Swedish exports of goods amounted to SEK 1,181 billion, an increase of 12% vis-à-vis 2020. At the same time, the value of imports of goods increased by 14% and amounted to SEK 1,151 billion. The net trade surplus stood at SEK 30 billion against SEK 44 billion recorded in the first three quarters of 2020.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20172018201920202021
Imports of Goods (million USD) 154,215170,605158,971149,880186,899
Exports of Goods (million USD) 152,920165,968160,576155,601189,734
Imports of Services (million USD) 67,60371,72774,50368,14479,962
Exports of Services (million USD) 73,33273,12174,54268,99479,036

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

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 82.384.989.191.484.5
Trade Balance (million USD) 8,47211,16211,15618,17921,115
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 16,10714,62512,72721,71822,398
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 4.54.73.82.1-5.7
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.44.14.26.0-4.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 39.641.243.443.640.0
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 42.743.745.747.844.6

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 3.00.53.43.43.6
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.60.62.03.03.0

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Sweden is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, European Union, ICC, G-9, G-10, OECD, Schengen Convention, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Sweden click here. International organisation membership of Sweden is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Sweden can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
Norway 10.7%
Germany 10.3%
United States 8.1%
Denmark 7.7%
Finland 7.1%
See More Countries 56.2%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
Germany 17.0%
Norway 10.2%
Netherlands 10.0%
Denmark 6.9%
China 6.8%
See More Countries 49.0%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

189.9 bn USD of products exported in 2021
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) 6.6%
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 4.9%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.2%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.9%
Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled,...Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness of > 6 mm 2.8%
See More Products 78.6%
187.1 bn USD of products imported in 2021
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) 5.4%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 5.1%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 3.8%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 3.2%
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 3.0%
See More Products 79.5%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. 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

66.1 bn USD of services exported in 2020
30.08%
19.84%
12.69%
11.18%
8.56%
6.63%
4.12%
3.98%
1.27%
0.89%
0.76%
65.9 bn USD of services imported in 2020
39.39%
13.95%
13.06%
12.99%
9.39%
3.69%
2.18%
2.10%
1.86%
1.01%
0.38%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022