High prices for oil and especially for gas have once again pumped up Norway’s trade surplus, this time to a record NOK 570 billion during the third quarter. A strong US dollar also helped, since sales are in dollars and they’ve been generating unusually large amounts of Norwegian kroner.
State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) reports that the third-quarter trade surplus is up from NOK 322 billion in the second quarter. The increase reflects how Norway has become Europe’s major energy supplier, after stepping in to replace Russian gas sales cut off since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. It also shows how Norway is controversially profiting on the ensuing war, while the government stresses the billions sent in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Norway exported goods and services valued at NOK 949 billion from July through September, according to SSB, up from NOK 254 billion in the second quarter and NOK 496 billion higher than in the third quarter of last year. That shows a near doubling of the value of Norwegian exports, most of it because of how oil and gas prices have shot up since Russia launched its war on Ukraine.
With one US dollar generating as much as NOK 10, as opposed to just NOK 6-8 in earlier years, that’s also fueled the surplus considerably. A barrel of Norway’s Norway’s North Sea crude now selling at around USD 80, for example, generates NOK 800 instead of NOK 480-640.