High gas prices push Norway’s December trade surplus to record

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OSLO, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Norway’s trade surplus rose to a new record in December, boosted by soaring prices for its natural gas exports, national statistics agency data showed on Monday.

The December surplus hit 106 billion Norwegian crowns ($12.09 billion), beating a previous record of 84.5 billion set in October.

With a daily output of around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent, almost equally divided between oil and natural gas, Norway has been a winner from the spike in global energy prices.

Exports totalled 181.8 billion crowns last month, of which 52% of came from natural gas and 19% came from oil, the data showed.

The value of gas exports stood at 95.1 billion crowns in December, an increase of just over 500% from a year ago. Oil exports, meanwhile, rose 71% to 34.9 billion crowns.

Led by state-controlled Equinor, Norway supplies around 25% of the natural gas consumed in the European Union, second only in size to Russia’s 34% market share, according to Norwegian government data.

($1 = 8.7671 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, Editing by Louise Heavens and Tomasz Janowski)

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