According to information released by Statistics Estonia, the export of goods increased by 8% and imports by 5% YoY in March. This trade growth is attributable to increased exports and imports alike with other EU countries.
This March, exports from Estonia amounted to EUR 1.2 billion and imports to EUR 1.4 billion at current prices. The trade deficit stood at EUR 177 million, or down by EUR 22 million YoY.
Exports to EU member states increased by EUR 104 million and imports by EUR 71 million. The EU accounted for 72% of total exports and 80% of imports. Member states’ share was previously this large in November 2017, and the share of imports in May 2018.
In March, the top destination countries of Estonia’s exports were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (10%) and Latvia (9%). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; miscellaneous manufactured articles, and wood and articles of wood to Sweden; transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations to Latvia.
The biggest increases occurred in exports to the U.S. (up by EUR 50 million), Denmark (up by EUR 25 million) and Belgium (up by EUR 20 million). In exports to the U.S., the increase was the largest in the exports of data communication equipment; to Denmark and Belgium, in the exports of mineral products. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Singapore (down by EUR 19 million), where less mineral products were dispatched.
The biggest share in exports of goods was held by electrical equipment (15% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by mineral products, and wood and articles of wood (12% each). The biggest increase was in the exports of base metals and articles of base metal (up by EUR 22 million), and agricultural products and food preparations (up by EUR 13 million). The biggest decrease occurred in exports of electrical equipment (down by EUR 7 million).
The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72% in March. The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew by 8% and re-exports by 7% compared to March last year. In the exports of goods of Estonian origin, the biggest growth was in the exports of mineral products (shale spirit, aviation spirit, shale oil), miscellaneous manufactured articles (prefabricated wood buildings, furniture), base metals and articles of base metal (metal waste, metal structures).
In March, the primary countries of consignment were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany and Sweden (11% each) and Latvia (10%). Mineral products and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities imported from Finland; from Germany, mechanical appliances and transport equipment; and from Sweden, transport equipment and electrical equipment. Imports increased the most from Finland (up by EUR 29 million), Latvia (up by EUR 20 million) and Sweden (up by EUR 18 million). Imports of mineral products increased the most from Finland and Latvia, while imports of transport equipment increased the most from Sweden. Imports decreased the most, meanwhile, from Belarus (down by EUR 28 million), due primarily to decreased imports of mineral products.
The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment (13% of Estonia’s total imports), mineral products and transport equipment (12% each), and mechanical appliances (11%). The biggest increase was in the imports of base metals and articles of base metal (up by EUR 20 million) and the biggest decrease in the imports of mineral products (down by EUR 18 million).
In March 2019, compared to March 2018, the foreign trade export volume index decreased by 1% and the import volume index increased by 3%.
In the first quarter of 2019, exports from Estonia amounted to EUR 3.6 billion and imports to Estonia to EUR 3.9 billion. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, exports increased by 8% and imports by 4%. The trade deficit in the first quarter was EUR 392 million, down from EUR 500 million in the first quarter of 2017.
In the first quarter of 2019, on-year growth in exports was supported by increased exports of wood and articles of wood (up by EUR 44 million), base metals and articles of base metal (up by EUR 30 million) and mechanical appliances (up by EUR 28 million). In the comparison by countries, exports have increased the most to the U.S., Denmark, Latvia and Finland.
In the first quarter, the growth in imports was affected the most by an increase in the imports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (up by EUR 41 million), base metals and articles of base metal (up by EUR 28 million), and agricultural products and food preparations (up by EUR 18 million). By country, imports in the first quarter of 2019 grew the most from Lithuania, Sweden and Russia, while imports from Belarus decreased the most. (ERR/Business World Magazine)