Denmark annually exports goods and services for more than one thousand billion DKK. Maritime transport, chemical products (including pharmaceuticals) and machinery are among the major commodity and service groups. The imports are not quite as extensive as the exports and this way, Denmark has a surplus on the trade in goods and services. Our major trading partners are USA, Germany and Sweden. Seasonally adjusted series are released monthly for Denmark’s international trade in goods and services broken down into commodity and service groups and geographical counterparties.
The value of international trade in goods is calculated based on two different principles. One principle reflects the value of the physical flow of goods crossing the Danish border, and as a result, does not take the change of ownership into consideration. The other principle is based on the value at the time of change of ownership, and as a result, does not take into account whether the goods cross the Danish border.
As a main rule, the first principle is used in the traditional international trade in goods statistics, whereas the other (ownership) principle is used in the statistics on total international trade in goods and services in the balance of payments. The underlying sources for the traditional statement of international trade in goods facilitate the publishing of international trade in goods by the border passage principle, with a high level of detail and long time series. Read more about the detailed international trade by border passage.
The change of ownership principle offers a basis for calculating the value of the economic transactions for goods and services between Denmark and the rest of the world. The statement of total international trade in goods and services does not provide the same level of detail as the statement of international trade in goods by border passage, but it includes e.g. sales abroad by Danish enterprises where the sold goods have not crossed the Danish border, among these goods traded in connection with production abroad. Furthermore, there are certain other differences of methodology between the statement of total international trade in goods and services and the balance of payments on the one hand, and international trade in goods on the other, such as whether the valuation of goods should be at the seller’s border or the buyer’s border.
Below is a more detailed review of the adjustments made in the trade of goods when transitioning from the border passage principle to the change of ownership principle.
(+) Bunkering and provisioning:
Trade in goods stated after change of ownership is supplemented with purchases of fuel and other goods for consumption in connection with transport abroad, e.g. marine fuel purchased in foreign ports. Such purchase is not included in the statement by border passage, since the goods do not cross the Danish border.
(+) Goods purchased or sold abroad in connection with processing abroad:
Goods purchased abroad for processing abroad are included in the statement by change of ownership as imports of goods. Goods sold abroad after processing abroad are included correspondingly as exports of goods. This activity is not included in the statement by border passage, since the goods do not cross the Danish border when purchased or sold.
(-) Goods crossing the border in connection with processing:
Goods that cross the Danish border in connection with processing in Denmark or abroad without changing owner are deducted in the statement by change of ownership principle. This component can be further broken down into inward processing, where foreign-owned goods are processed in Denmark, and outward processing, where Danish-owned goods are processed abroad.
(-) Returned goods:
If a goods trade is cancelled or the product is returned for other reasons, the returned goods and the prior imports (if goods are returned abroad) or exports (if goods are returned from abroad) are not included in the statement by change of ownership principle. On the other hand, these goods movements are included in the statement of goods trade by border passage.
(-) Goods crossing the border in connection with construction projects:
Goods crossing the border in connection with a contractor’s construction activity are considered in the statement of international trade by change of ownership as part of a construction service. Consequently, goods that are used in construction projects in Denmark (imports) or abroad (exports) are not included in the statement of good trade by change of ownership principle, since the value of the goods is included in the statement of construction services.
(-) Freight on imports (CIFFOB):
In the statement by change of ownership, the value of all traded goods must be included in the so-called FOB-value, which reflects the value of the goods at the border of the sender country. The costs in transit to the receiver country (typically freight and insurance) are considered as services in this context. In the traditional statement of international trade by border passage principle, exports are only stated at FOB value, whereas imports are stated at CIF value. The CIF value reflects the value of the goods at the border of the receiver country (Denmark). As a result, the difference between the CIF value and the FOB value is deducted from the goods trade when using the change of ownership principle. Any freight costs included in the price of the goods, which are not included in the FOB price, are included in this statement as imports or exports of services (transport and insurance).
(+/-) Other adjustments:
+ Adjustment for illegal importation of goods
+/- adjustment for trade in goods by non-resident enterprises in Denmark. This adjustment should reflect the difference between the value at which goods enter/exit (border passage) and the value received/paid by the Danish resident.
+/- Adjustment due to price adjustment of goods after they have crossed the Danish border
Goods purchased abroad for resale without passing the Danish border are not compiled in the traditional statement of international trade in goods by border passage and are thus, supplemented for for the statement by the change of ownership principle. Only the profit margin of the merchanting sales is added to the exports, as the purchase value of sold goods is deducted. This profit margin can be further broken down in total value of the sale and total value of the purchase (stated as negative exports).
(+) Non-monetary gold:
Non-monetary gold is defined as the gold that is not traded by monetary authorities such as national banks (e.g. when purchasing and selling any gold reserves). Non-monetary gold can be further broken down in gold traded for industrial purposes, and gold purchased for possible gain from resale. Only the trade in gold that does not cross the Danish border is included here.
International trade in services is stated only by the change of ownership principle. Trade in services is considered to be purchases and sales of anything but physical goods. This could be e.g. transport, telecommunications, legal aid etc. International trade should be understood as transactions between Danish residents and non-resident counterparties, i.e. between enterprises (or individuals) residing in Denmark and enterprises (or individuals) residing in another country.
Denmark’s international trade in services is primarily calculated by compiling information from a number of selected enterprises (the population of International trade in services). In addition, special calculations, in particular related to the travel account, are used as supplements to achieve a complete set of trade in services statistics. Due to the differences in the frequency at which source data is available, international trade in services is compiled at a more aggregate level in the monthly statistics than in the annual statistics. A full breakdown into items and countries can be found at the annual figures. Read more about the detailed international trade in services.
Trade with non-EU countries:
The Combined Nomenclature (CN) is the merchandise nomenclature applied by the EU when compiling statistics on EU trade as well as trade with non-EU countries. The CN is an 8-digit commodity classification and is the most detailed commodity grouping in external trade. When publishing external trade statistics, the 8-digit CN commodity codes are grouped according to SITC (Standard International Trade Classification) aiming at analysing external trade by the stage of fabrication (raw materials, semi-manufactures, finished goods). The CN and SITC nomenclatures are related to each other, implying that a 5-digit item of the SITCS always corresponds to one or several more items under the same 4-digit heading in the Combined Nomenclature. In addition to the CN and the SITC, imports are analysed by means of a classification by end-use (BEC) and exports analysed by means of a classification by industrial origin (KONJ). The BEC (Broad Economic Categories), which is largely based on the SITC, comprises 7 areas of application and under each of these a number of commodity groups. The classification is defined on the basis of the SITC, so that all commodity items under the same SITC item are, as a general rule, allocated to the same commodity group.
The KONJ comprises 8 categories of exports, each covering a number of commodity groups. Here, the classification is also largely defined on the basis of the SITC. Finally, for the analysis of modes of transport in external trade, the 8-digit commodity codes are grouped according to the CTSE (Classification for Transport Statistics in Europe) and the NST/R, (Nomenclature uniforme de marchandises pour les statistiques des transports/Révisée). The CTSE and NST/R are defined on the basis of the SITC.
As from the publishing of statistics of January 2009, the commodity classfication in the series “Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik” (News from Statistics Denmark) on external trade in goods has been changed, so that the UN’s commodity classification SITC (Standard International Trade Classification) is used. The commodity classification in “Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik” covers the following SITC groups :
Food, beverages, tobacco, etc.: SITC sections 0, 1 and 4
Raw materials, inedible, excl. fuels: SITC section 2
Fuels and lubricants, etc.: SITC section 3
Chemicals and other chemical goods: SITC section 5
Manufactured products, primarily semi-manufactures: SITC section 6
Machinery, excl. transport equipment: SITC section 7 excluding SITC chapters 78 and 79
Transport equipment, incl. ships and aircraft: SITC chapters 78 and 79
Finished goods and other goods: SITC sections 8 and 9
Furthermore, figures for external trade in the most recent month with Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands and China are now published.
0 Food and live animals
1 Beverages and tobacco
2 Raw materials, inedible
3 Mineral fuels and lubricants
4 Animal and vegetables oils, fats and wax
5 Chemicals and chemical goods
6 Manufactured products, primarily semi-manufactures
7 Machinery and transport equipment
8 Manufactured products, not elsewhere specified
9 Miscellaneous goods and transactions, not elsewhere specified (not estimated)
01-04 Intermediate goods for agriculture and horticulture
05-10 Intermediate goods for the construction industry
11-30 Intermediate goods for other industries
32-36 Fuels, lubricants and electric current
37-42 Machinery and other capital equipment
43-46 Transport equipment
47-53 Other goods for household consumption
54 Goods not elsewhere specified
01-11 Agricultural products of animal origin
21-24 Agricultural products of vegetable origin
31-32 Canned meat and milk
41-67, 69-72 Industrial products, excl. Machinery and instruments
68 Machinery and instruments
80 Ships, aircraft, drillings rigs and production platforms (not estimated)
82 Fish, crustaceans and molluscs
84 Raw fur skins
85 Fuels, lubricants and electric current
86 Other goods
Countries and country groups included in the first publishing of statistics
EU countries, total
Non-EU countries, total
The first publishing of statistics takes place 40 days following the statistical month under survey.
As from the second publishing of external trade figures, the statistics contain information analysed by all 8-digit CN commodity codes and countries. Further information about Denmark’s external trade is available from the database StatBank Denmark. Under the item Most recent economic key figures, information about total external trade as well as information about imports and exports analysed by main commodity groups are available free of charge.
In order to view the underlying figures in the database StatBank Denmark:
External trade in services is compiled on the basis of:
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