In 2020, the value of exports of services was 378.9 billion ISK and the imports of services 309.8 billion ISK. Therefore, the services trade surplus for the year was 69.1 billion ISK compared with 261.4 billion ISK in 2019 at current exchange rates.

Exports of travel services decreases by 74% between years
The total value of exports for 2020 was 318,2 billion ISK lower than in 2019 at current rates of exchange, or 46%. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic had the most effects on the exports of travel and transportation services in 2020. The value of exported travel was estimated 86.7 billion ISK in 2020 and decreased by 74% compared with 2019. The value of exported transportation was estimated 91.6 billion ISK in 2020 and decreased by 53% compared with 2019. The decrease in exports of transportation is mainly due to a decrease in the value of exports of passenger transport by air.

However, there was an increase in exports of charges for the use of intellectual property and other business services increased considerably between years. The exported value of charges for the use of intellectual property was estimated 51.7 billion ISK in 2020 and increased by 48% between years. This increase in the exported value of charges for the use of intellectual property can be explained by increased revenues in the pharmaceutical industry. The exported value of other business services was estimated 64.6 billion ISK in 2020 and increased by 34% between years. This increase in exports of other business services is due to an increase in exports of research and development services and trade related services.

The export of services to the United States was estimated 76.7 billion ISK in 2020. The export to the United States decreased by 63% between years at current exchange rates. This decrease in exports to the United States is mainly due to less amount of tourist from the United States in Iceland in 2020. At the same time exports to the EU countries was estimated 162.5 billion ISK and decreased by 49% between years. A part of this decrease can be explained by the fact that the United Kingdom left the EU in 2020 and so is a part of the figures for the EU in 2019 but not in 2020. The exports of services to the United Kingdom was estimated 48.5 billion ISK and decreased by 42% between years. The exports of services to the EFTA countries also decreased between years, by 29%, and was estimated 23.7 billion ISK.

Imports of services decreased by 29% between years
The total value of imports for 2019 was 125.9 billion ISK lower, or 29%, than in 2018 at current rates of exchange. As for exports, the Covid-19 pandemic had the most effects on imports of travel and transportation. The value of imports of travel was estimated 70.8 billion ISK in 2020 and decreased by 62% compared with 2019. The value of imports of transportation was estimated 60.8 billion ISK in 2020 and decreased by 27% compared with the year before.

The decrease in imports of transportation is mainly due to a decrease in the value of exports of passenger transport by air which decreased by 84% and other services in connection with air transportation which decreased by 48%. The value of imports of other business services was estimated 76.1 billion ISK in 2020 and increased by 17% compared with the year before. The increase in the imported value of other business services can be explained by an increase in the imported value of research and development services.

The largest trading partners, with regards to import of services, were the United States and the United Kingdom. The decrease in 2020 compared with 2019 in imports from the United States was 35% while the decrease in imports from the United Kingdom was 43% at current exchange rates. The imported value of services from the EU countries was estimated 162.5 billion ISK in 2020 and decreased by 45% compared with the year before. It is worth emphasising that a part of this decrease can be explained by the fact that the United Kingdom was a part of the EU in 2019 but not in 2020.

More detailed categorisation of trade in services by EBOPS classification and by countries is available on the Statistics Iceland website.

Value of exports and imports of services by service categories (billion ISK)
  2019 2020 Change between years, %
  Export Import Export Import Export Import
Total 697.1 435.7378.9 309.8 -46 -29
1. Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned b0.00.00.00.000
2. Maintenance and repair services n.i.e.6.919.75.811.4-15-42
3. Transport196.883.591.660.8-53-27
4. Travel330.4185.186.770.8-74-62
5. Construction5.33.75.65.9558
6. Insurance and pension services1.62.21.82.213-2
7. Financial services14.45.216.36.81330
8. Charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e.35.012.551.79.848-22
9. Telecommunications, computer and information ser50.040.047.044.5-611
10. Other business services48.265.064.676.13417
11. Personal, cultural and recreational services6.116.35.219.3-1518
12. Government goods and services n.i.e.2.52.42.62.23-7
Value of exports and imports of services by market areas (billion ISK)
  2019 2020 Change between years, %
  Export Import Export Import Export Import
Total697.1 435.7378.9 309.8 -46 -29
EU1308.8296.6158.9162.5-49-45
Germany44.521.630.514.6-31-32
Denmark22.724.018.020.5-20-15
Spain13.434.13.610.7-73-69
Netherlands20.533.514.532.5-29-3
EFTA33.226.623.725.3-29-5
Other European Countries210.412.256.149.5437306
United Kingdom83.164.048.536.6-42-43
United States207.065.976.742.8-63-35
Asia68.217.930.314.9-56-17

1In 2019 the United Kingdom is part of the EU but not in 2020
2 In 2020 the United Kingdom is part of Other European Countries but not in 2019

Statistics