Due to epidemiological crisis caused by Covid-19, the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 1.93 billion in May, which at current prices was 24.1% less than a year ago, of which the exports value of goods dropped by 16.8% and imports value of goods – by 29.6%.
In May, Latvia exported goods in the amount of EUR 906.1 billion and imported – in the amount of EUR 1.03 billion. Compared to May 2019, foreign trade balance improved slightly, as exports in total foreign trade amount increased from 42.8% to 46.9%, according to provisional data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
During the first five months of this year foreign trade turnover of Latvia at current prices reached EUR 10.76 billion – EUR 1.08 billion or 9.1% less than in the corresponding period of the previous year. The exports value constituted EUR 5.07 billion (-EUR 217.7 million or -4.1%), whereas the imports value comprised EUR 5.69 billion (-EUR 861.6 million or -13.1%).
Calendar and seasonally adjusted data showed that, compared to May 2019, in May 2020 the exports value at current prices went down by 12% and the imports value by 26.5%, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value went up by 1.5% and the imports value – by 3.6%.
Main changes in exports in May 2020, compared to May 2019, included the following: exports of vehicles and associated transport equipment down by EUR 38 million or 51.2%; exports of prepared foodstuffs down by EUR 22.4 million or 23%; exports of base metals and articles of base metals down by EUR 21.6 million or 21%; exports of mineral products down by EUR 17 million or 29.7%; exports of wood and articles of wood down by EUR 14.7 million or 7.7%.
Main changes in imports in May 2020, compared to May 2019, included the following: imports of vehicles and associated transport equipment down by EUR 204.9 million or 75.3%; imports of mineral products down by EUR 58.5 million or 41.5%; imports of products of the chemical and allied industries down by EUR 29 million or 21.1%; imports of machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment down by EUR 26.8 million or 10.1%; imports of prepared foodstuffs down by EUR 23.8 million or 20.3%.
In May, imports of protective oral-nasal masks comprised EUR 9.7 million (-EUR 1.6 million or -13.8% MoM). They mainly were imported from China (86.9% or EUR 8.4 million). Since epidemiological crisis caused by coronavirus Covid-19 has started, demand for these goods still remains high.
In May, the main export partners of Latvia in trade with EU countries were Lithuania (17% of total exports), Estonia (12.1%), Germany (7.6%) and Sweden (7.1%), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (19.1% of total imports), Poland (10.3%), Germany (9.4%) and Estonia (8.6%). Russia was the main partner in trade with third countries; its share in total Latvian exports in May accounted for 6.7%, whereas in imports – for 6.5%.
In May 2020, compared to May 2019, share of the European Union countries in total exports value increased by 0.3%, but in imports value – by 6.1%. Share of CIS countries in exports fell by 2.2%, but in imports – increased by 0.2%. Foreign trade balance of Latvia was positive with 110 partner countries, as exports value of goods exceeded imports value of goods. It was negative in trade with 47 countries.
The rise in exports of electrical machinery and equipment in May 2020, as compared to May 2019, was mostly facilitated by an increase in exports of monitors, projectors and television reception apparatus by EUR 5 million or 52.2%. In turn, reduction in exports of vehicles and associated transport equipment was mostly affected by drop in exports of passenger cars by EUR 17.5 million or 60.7%.
Also the rise in imports of electrical machinery and equipment in May 2020, as compared to May 2019, was mostly facilitated by an increase in imports of monitors, projectors and television reception apparatus by EUR 3.7 million or 42.4%. In turn, reduction in imports of vehicles and associated transport equipment was mostly affected by drop in imports of passenger cars by EUR 46.5 million or 72.8%. (BNN/Business World Magazine)