Exports and imports in Estonia both declined by a quarter YoY in May, government agency Statistics Estonia reported. Imports from China did however rise slightly, driven mainly by consignments of personal protective equipment from the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said trade decreased the most with EU Member States during that time.
Exports decreased by EUR 232 million and imports by EUR 306 million, between May 2019 and May 2020, though the difference between April and May, the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, was not significant.
Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to EUR 1 billion and imports to EUR 1.09 billion at current prices.
“In May, trade decreased in most commodity sections, but, on the positive side, the month-on-month change was not very significant,” Puura said.
Export destinations further away from Estonia were the most affected during the pandemic; cargo transport by sea between Estonia and Finland, for instance, continued through the emergency situation while passenger travel ground to a halt.
The top destination country for exports was Finland, followed by Sweden and Latvia.
The largest decreases occurred in exports to Spain (-EUR 41 million), Finland, the USA and the Netherlands (all down by EUR 34 million, Statistics Estonia says).
Compared with the preceding month, exports fell by 2% in May, while imports remained the same.
The trade deficit was EUR 84 million in May, down from EUR 16 million on year. The major exports were electrical equipment, wood and articles made of wood and mechanical appliances. The major imports were mineral products, electrical equipment, agricultural products and food preparations. The main countries of consignment were Finland, Russia and Latvia. The largest fall in exports occurred with shale oil, prefab log houses and communications equipment. Exports rose the most to Canada (+EUR 10 million), mostly driven by consignments of refined motor spirit. Imports decreased the most from Sweden (-EUR 71 million euros), Lithuania (-EUR 55 million) and Germany (-EUR 47 million).
Goods of Estonian origin accounted for 71% of the total exports of goods. Their exports decreased by 27% and re-exports by 18% MoM.
Imports of motorcars fell the most from Sweden and Germany, while imports of fuels decreased the most from Lithuania. Imports of goods increased the most from China and Switzerland (both by EUR 4 million), driven by a rise in imports of personal protective equipment from China and unwrought gold from Switzerland.
Goods of Estonian origin accounted for the biggest share in the commodity sections of wood and articles of wood at 96% and in miscellaneous manufactured articles, such as furniture and log houses (91%).
Less shale oil was exported to Spain and the Netherlands in May compared with the previous May; fuel and lubricating oils fell in their exports to the U.S. and Finland. (ERR/Business World Magazine)