Foreign trade continued to grow in January

news release no 29

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2017, the exports of goods increased by 14% and imports by 40% compared January 2016. The rise in exports was affected the most by an increase in the exportation of mineral products, and the rise in imports by non-recurring big-volume transactions with transport equipment.

In January 2017, exports from Estonia amounted to 0.9 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.4 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 430 million euros (in January 2016, it was 155 million euros). The main reason for the record trade deficit is non-recurring transactions with transport equipment. Without these transactions, imports increased 12% and trade deficit was 164 million euros.

The top destination countries of Estonia’s exports in January were Finland (15% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (15%) and Latvia (9%). The biggest increase occurred in exports to the Netherlands (up by 25 million euros, i.e. two-fold), Finland (up by 16 million euros) and Germany (up by 15 million euros). These rises are mainly due to increased exports of mineral products to the Netherlands, of agricultural products and food preparations to Finland and of electrical equipment to Germany. Exports to Sweden decreased the most.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and articles of wood and mineral products. The increase in exports was affected by the exports of mineral products (up by 39 million euros) and base metals and articles of base metal (up by 27 million euros). There was a decrease in the exports of mechanical appliances.

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 73%. In January 2017 compared to January 2016, the exports of goods of Estonian origin grew 14%, while re-exports, i.e. the exportation of goods imported from a foreign country, increased 12%. The rise in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by an increase in the exports of base metals and articles of base metal (incl. ferrous waste and scrap), wood and articles of wood (incl. planed coniferous wood) and mineral products (incl. shale oil, fuel oil). Goods of Estonian origin are exported the most to Sweden, Finland and Germany. The biggest increase in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was in the exports to Germany (up by 13 million euros) and decrease in the exports to Sweden (down by 23 million euros).

The main countries of consignment in January 2017 were Finland (27% of Estonia’s total imports), Lithuania (10%), Germany (8%) and Russia (8%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Finland (up by 226 million euros, i.e. about three-fold) and Russia (up by 44 million euros), while imports from Hungary decreased the most (down by 4 million euros).

In January, the main commodities imported to Estonia were transport equipment, electrical equipment and mineral products. The growth in imports was affected the most by an increase in the imports of transport equipment (incl. ships), mineral products (incl. motor spirit) and base metals and articles of base metal (incl. flat-rolled products). The biggest fall occurred in the imports of mechanical appliances.

In January 2017, foreign trade export volume index increased by 2% and import volume index by 12% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2014–2017

Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, January 2017
Country of destination, group of countries Exports, million euros Share, % Change compared to same month of previous year, % Country of consignment, group of countries Imports, million euros Share, % Change compared to same month of previous year, %
TOTAL 936.8 100 14 TOTAL 1367.1 100 40
EU-28 697.1 74 7 EU-28 1125.6 82 39
Euro area 19 456.6 49 18 Euro area 19 861.8 63 50
Non-EU 239.7 26 38 Non-EU 241.5 18 42
1. Finland 144.2 15 12 1. Finland 365.2 27 -
2. Sweden 143.1 15 -12 2. Lithuania 135.2 10 18
3. Latvia 85.2 9 0 3. Germany 109.6 8 12
4. Germany 62.1 7 31 4. Russia 104.8 8 72
5. Lithuania 53.8 6 9 5. Poland 102.3 7 43
6. Russia 47.6 5 34 6. Sweden 90.4 7 -3
7. Netherlands 45.4 5 - 7. Latvia 85.3 6 12
8. Norway 41.2 4 17 8. Netherlands 67.6 5 12
9. Denmark 32.5 3 -4 9. China 48.1 4 10
10. USA 29.4 3 8 10. United Kingdom 23.1 2 5
Exports and imports by commodity section, January 2017
Commodity section (chapter) by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance, million euros
million euros share, % change compared to same period of previous year, % million euros share, % change compared to same period of previous year, %
TOTAL 936.8 100 14 1 367.1 100 40 -430.3
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 76.8 8 10 108.9 8 10 -32.0
Mineral products (V) 101.0 11 63 165.5 12 23 -64.6
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 53.4 6 48 101.1 7 23 -47.7
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 29.9 3 19 55.5 4 14 -25.6
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 113.5 12 21 35.2 3 33 78.2
Paper and articles thereof (X) 27.3 3 11 21.8 2 15 5.5
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 28.9 3 8 52.3 4 12 -23.4
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 77.2 8 54 90.4 7 31 -13.2
Mechanical appliances (84) 64.7 7 -17 89.3 6 -6 -24.6
Electrical equipment (85) 167.8 18 -3 174.7 13 -3 -6.9
Transport equipment (XVII) 52.4 6 6 369.4 27 - -317.1
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 25.2 3 -9 23.7 2 6 1.5
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 84.1 9 8 29.6 2 22 54.5
Other 34.5 3 18 49.6 3 27 -15.2

The statistics are based on the questionnaires “Intrastat” and “Exports (sale of fish and crustaceans in foreign waters and ports)”, the due dates of which were, respectively, 14 and 15 February 2017, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 February 2017. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 11 working days. In the case of the statistical activity “Foreign trade”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

For further information:

Evelin Puura
Leading Statistician-Methodologist
Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9259

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database and pre-defined tables. Due to rounding, the sum of rows in some tables may differ from the sum total of the column.