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Swedish exports drop 20 percent

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13:36 CEST+02:00
Swedish exports declined by 21.4 percent in volume, measured in constant prices, during the first quarter of 2009, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden.

Import volumes declined by 18.2 percent over the quarter.

While the international downturn has impacted export volumes across the business sectors, worst hit was the automotive industry with exports of cars down 62 percent.

The machinery and transport equipment sector, accounting for nearly half of Swedish exports, decreased in volume by 29 percent with exports of electronic products including IT and telecommunications equipment down 5 percent.

Swedish exports of wood and paper products fell by 8 percent in volume and chemicals and rubber products dipped 8 percent.

Pharmaceutical products and food were the only sectors to report increasing volumes, with small rises in exports during the quarter.

Steel exports collapsed by 46 percent during the period with the minerals sector as a whole down 37 percent by volume.

The dominant import sector, machinery and transport equipment, decreased 29 percent in volume while imports of road vehicles (including spare parts) decreased by a full 47 percent.

Passenger car imports were down 45 percent on the back of low demand and the weak kronor.

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