Downturn in the trade surplus
The amount of goods exported in August reached NOK 56.5 billion, while imports amounted to NOK 35.8 billion. The trade balance declined by 10.4 per cent from August last year and ended at NOK 20.7 billion. The reduced exports of natural gas and crude oil together with a rise in imports contributed to this.
The export value of goods showed a marginal decline of 0.5 per cent from August last year. The imports rose by 6.3 per cent in the same period. Planned maintenance work reduced the exports of natural gas and crude oil, which in turn reduced the total exports. The trade balance contracted by 27 per cent compared to last month and has not been this low since June 2005.
Reduced exports of natural gas
The value of natural gas exports came to NOK 9.1 billion in August. This is a decline of 20 per cent from August last year and approximately the same from last month.
A total of 5.3 billion cubic meters of natural gas in a gaseous state was exported in August this year – down 23.9 per cent from the same period last year.
Less crude oil exports
The exported volume of crude oil was especially low in August and amounted to 41.6 million barrels. This is down 13.3 per cent from last month and 17.8 per cent from the same period last year.
The export value of crude oil ended at NOK 20.1 billion. This is a decline of 9 per cent from the same period last year. The average price per barrel was NOK 483, which is NOK 47 higher than the corresponding period one year ago.
Rise in import of cars
The imports of goods excluding ships and oil platforms came to NOK 35.8 billion. This is an increase of 6.3 per cent from the corresponding month last year and 7.2 per cent from July 2010.
The import value of road vehicles was NOK 3 billion, which is an increase of 16.9 per cent from August last year. About 1 300 more cars were imported in the same period. Organic chemicals rose by NOK 410 million, while the import of non-ferrous metals was NOK 275 million higher than the same month last year.
The largest decline was in the group power generating machinery and equipment, which decreased by NOK 404 million compared to August last year. In the group other transport equipment, imports declined by NOK 317 million.
Increase in (mainland) exports
The export value of goods excluding ships, oil platforms, crude oil, natural gas and condensates came to NOK 26.3 billion. This is an increase of NOK 3.2 billion or 14 per cent from August last year.
The group consisting of non-ferrous metals increased by NOK 688 million from the same month a year ago. The export of fish was NOK 620 million higher, while other chemical products increased by NOK 468 million. Exports of refined mineral products rose by NOK 466 million, while electric current declined by NOK 282 million.
Source: Statistics Norway