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Sweden’s foreign trade in goods and services continues to increase strongly, according to a report by the National Board of Trade (Kommerskollegium) published on 18 September. During the first six months of the year, both goods exports and goods imports increased by 10% in value compared with the first half of 2016. Service exports increased by 3.9% while imports of services increased by 9.3%.
The value of commodity exports has increased significantly for energy and mineral goods. The value of exports of energy goods has increased 35% but it decreased by 3.5% in terms of value. Exports of mineral goods increased by 27% in value and increased by 2.8% in volume.
Europe as a whole received 74% of Sweden’s total exports of goods. The EU’s share of value was 59%. Exports increased to all continents except to Africa. Exports to Africa decreased by 3%, compared to the corresponding period last year. The biggest increase was exports to Oceania and Asia, but exports to the EU and the rest of Europe also increased sharply. Germany, Norway and the United States continue to be Sweden’s largest export markets. Among individual countries, exports have increased sharply to Japan and Russia (both up 37%), China (33%) and Australia (20%). In terms of trade in services, the United States and Great Britain remain important trading partners for both Sweden’s exports and imports of services.
Imports increased from all continents compared to first half of 2016. Swedish imports are mainly from Europe (85% ) and EU countries (72%). The biggest increase was from Africa (75%) and imports from EU countries increased by 10%.
Negotiations on a EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement took a big step forward this summer when the parties reached the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Hence, the report from the National Board of Trade devotes a special section to Swedish-Japanese trade.