Norway's trade balance turned negative for the first time in 19 years in June as imports of foreign-made aircraft and oil and gas platforms outweighed exports from the country's petroleum industry.
The Nordic country has been running a trade surplus for nearly two decades as the revenues from its exports of oil and gas have amply covered its import needs. Norway is western Europe's largest crude exporter.
In June the country posted a trade deficit of 0.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($97 million) against a surplus of 7.8 billion crowns in May, Statistics Norway said on Friday.
"The last time we experienced this was in December 1998," Statistics Norway said in a statement.
"This is due to the strong increase in some key commodities," it added.
In recent years, Statoil (STO) and other oil firms have commissioned oil and gas platforms from Asian yards in an attempt to keep down costs.
In addition, oil prices have fallen 58 percent over the past three years, decreasing the value of Norway's oil and gas export sales.
($1 = 8.2473 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Andrew Heavens)