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Norway trade surplus hit record

Norway's trade balance January 2009-January 2014. (source: Statistics Norway)

Norway’s trade surplus in January 2014 ended at NOK 48.8 billion (€5.8 billion) – the highest ever recorded in one single month and 41.8 percent more than a year ago.

Location

Export grew 16.5 percent year-on-year to NOK 90.2 billion (€10.8 billion), driven by high exports of oil and gas combined with a leap in the export of mainland goods. Imports ended at NOK 41.4 billion (€4.9 billion) – down 3.8 percent.

The increase in oil export is caused by both higher prices and higher volume. Norway exported 43.4 million barrels of crude oil in January 2014, 30 percent more than a year ago. The price has gone up from NOK 632 (€74.6) per barrel in January 2013 to NOK 671 (€80.4) in 2014. To a large degree, this increase is caused by the weakening of the Norwegian krone, Statistics Norway reports.

New record in export from mainland
Norwegian export of mainland goods (oil and gas excluded) rose more than ten percent from 2013 and reached a record of NOK 33.9 billion (€4.0 billion) in January.  Export of vessels and drillings rigs increased 297 percent. Import of these commodities sank 73 percent at the same time.

Fish exports also grew significantly, up 24.2 percent to NOK 5.8 billion (€695.1 million) in January. The climb is mainly a result of higher export value of fresh salmon, which rose from NOK 846 million (€101.4 million) to NOK 3 billion (€359.5 million). The increased value of salmon exports is due to the higher price of salmon. The price of a kilo of salmon rose 40 percent in a year.

Finnmark on top three
Norway’s northernmost county Finnmark exported mainland goods for NOK 643 million (€77 million) in January 2014. This is up 39.5 percent from the same month in 2013. Only two other counties in Norway had a higher export growth than Finnmark, newspaper Finnmarken writes.

Fisheries and mineral extraction are the most important mainland industries contributing to rapid growth in exports from Finnmark.