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Norway's exports fall 6.7% in 2015 thanks to low oil prices

Staff writer |
Norway's exports decreased by 6.7 percent in 2015 mainly due to low oil prices while imports rose sharply by 9.5 percent, the statistics bureau said.

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Norway's exports were 847.7 billion kroner ($96.6 billion) last year, down about 6.7 percent from 2014, while imports rose by 9.5 percent to 614.1 billion kroner, according to preliminary figures published by Statistics Norway.

The trade balance went down from 347.7 billion kroner in 2014 to 233.7 billion kroner in 2015, representing a decline of 32.8 percent. The sharp fall in the trade surplus is caused by both lower exports and an increase in imports.

Due to lower crude oil prices, exports of oil amounted to 199.8 billion kroner in 2015, down about 83 billion kroner, or nearly 30 percent, from 2014.

In contrast to the dramatic drop in oil exports, natural gas exports increased by 1.9 percent to 227.9 billion kroner in 2015.

In parallel with the drop in oil price, the Norwegian krone weakened against major currencies. This has increased the value of Norwegian exports, but at the same time made Norwegian imports more expensive.

According to Statistics Norway, the average price of crude oil in 2014 was 610 kroner per barrel but fell to 425 kroner per barrel in 2015. This is a decline of more than 30 percent.

The decline in exports would have been even steeper if it were not for the depreciation of the Norwegian krone.