In August the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 2.37 billion, which at current prices was 9.5% less than in August 2018, of which the exports value of goods was 2.1% lower, and imports value of goods – 15.1% lower.
In August Latvia exported goods in the amount of EUR 1.1 billion, but imported in the amount of EUR 1.28 billion. Compared to August 2018, foreign trade balance has improved as exports in total foreign trade amount increased from 42.7% to 46.3%, according to data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Over the first eight months of this year, the foreign trade turnover of Latvia at current prices reached EUR 18.65 billion – EUR 131.3 million or 0.7% more than in the corresponding period of 2018. The exports value constituted EUR 8.32 billion (an increase of EUR 31.7 million or 0.4%), whereas the imports value – EUR 10.33 billion (an upturn of EUR 99.6 million or 1%).
Calendar and seasonally adjusted data showed that, compared to August 2018, in August 2019 the exports value at current prices went down by 0.5% and the imports value – by 13.2%, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value went up by 1.7%, but the imports value – reduced by 2.8%.
Main changes in exports in August 2019, compared to August 2018, included the following: exports of vegetable products up by EUR 63.7 million or 2.1-fold; exports of products of the chemical and allied industries up by EUR 19.2 million or 27.7%; exports of machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment down by EUR 43.9 million or 20.1%; exports of wood and articles of wood down by EUR 31.6 million or 15%; exports of vehicles and associated transport equipment down by EUR 17.1 million or 24.1%.
Main changes in imports in August 2019, compared to August 2018, included the following: imports of textiles and textile articles up by EUR 7.7 million or 15.8%; imports of mineral products down by EUR 112.6 million or 41.8%; imports of vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment down by EUR 70.3 million or 41.9%; imports of machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment down by EUR 43.2 million or 15.4%; imports of basic metals and articles of basic metals down by EUR 15.5 million or 13.7%.
In August the main export partners of Latvia in trade with EU countries were Lithuania (18% of total exports), Estonia (11.2%), Germany (7.6%) and Sweden (6.6%), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (20.3% of total imports), Germany (10.4%), Poland (9.3%) and Estonia (8.4%). Russia was the main partner in trade with third countries; its share in total Latvian exports in August accounted for 10.2%, whereas in imports – for 7.9%.
In August 2019, compared to August 2018, share of the European Union countries in Latvian foreign trade grew by 0.5% in the total exports value and by 9.6% in the imports value. Rise in share of CIS countries comprised 1.5% in exports and a drop of 4.1% in imports.
In August foreign trade balance of Latvia was positive with 114 partner countries, as exports value of goods exceeded imports value of goods. It was negative in trade with 44 countries.
The rise in the exports of cereals in August 2019, as compared to August 2018, was facilitated by an increase in the exports of wheat and meslin by EUR 52.9 million or 4.1-fold. But exports of machinery and mechanical appliances reduced as exports of turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines dropped by EUR 51.1 million.
Rise of imports of iron and steel in August 2019, as compared to August 2018, was mostly affected by the increase in imports of articles of iron and steel for railways and tramways of EUR 2.4 million or 10.7%. In its turn, reduction of imports of mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation was mostly influenced by decrease of imports of natural gas in the gaseous state by EUR 73.8 million or 66.1%. (BNN/Business World Magazine)