"Scream" sale affected balance of trade

Norwegian exports increased the past year despite a fall in oil price.

Whereas continental exports and imports were at the same level, total exports increased 15,5 percent from May 2011 to May 2012. A trade surplus of of NOK 35,5 billion, a 15 percent increase, is due to higher oil and gas exports, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

In total, oil exports accounted for 29,3 billion in May, an increase of 22,6 percent compared to the same period last year. This in spite of a dramatic fall in oil prices, although the price in May was still almost 30 kroner higher per barrel than in May 2011, SSB reports.

Norwegian investor Petter Olsen sold his version of Edvard Munch's scream at an auction in New York in May, for a record price of approximately NOK 615 million. The amount was high enough to affect the balance of trade.

In the category of manufactured articles, the export of art and antiques increased by almost NOK 600 million. The sale of "Scream" in New York was the biggest contribution to the increase.



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