In April, trade growth slowed down

news release no 69

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2017, the exports of goods decreased by 1% and imports increased by 2% compared to April 2016. A decrease in the exports of electrical equipment significantly contributed to the decline in exports.

In April 2017, exports from Estonia amounted to 1 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.2 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 189 million euros (in April 2016, it was 158 million euros).

The top destination countries of Estonia’s exports in April were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (15%) and Latvia (9%). The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden (down by 49 million euros), where less electrical equipment was exported. Exports to Germany (up by 16 million euros) and the Netherlands (up by 13 million euros) increased the most. These rises are mainly due to increased exports of base metals and articles of base metal to Germany and of mineral products (incl. shale oil) to the Netherlands.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and articles of wood, and base metals and articles of base metal. The greatest decrease was in the exports of electrical equipment (down by 56 million euros). At the same time, growth took place in the exports of mineral products (up by 36 million euros) and base metals and articles of base metal (up by 23 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72% in April. In April 2017, the exports of goods of Estonian origin decreased 3%, while re-exports increased 4%. The fall in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by a decrease in the exports of electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) and agricultural products and food preparations (incl. cereals). At the same time, the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil, electricity) grew.

The main countries of consignment in April 2017 were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Lithuania (9%), Poland (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Turkey (up by 24 million euros, i.e. 5 times) and Russia (up by 20 million euros). Mostly transport equipment was imported from Turkey and mineral products from Russia. Imports from the USA decreased the most.

In April, the main commodities imported to Estonia were transport equipment, electrical equipment, mechanical appliances and agricultural products and food preparations. The biggest increase was in the imports of transport equipment and mineral products and the biggest fall occurred in the imports of electrical equipment.

In April 2017, the foreign trade export volume index decreased by 15% and the import volume index by 4% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2015–2017

Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, April 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 1 036 100 -1 TOTAL 1 225 100 2
EU-28 745 72 -3 EU-28 1 000 82 1
Euro area 19 497 48 6 Euro area 19 703 57 1
Non-EU 292 28 3 Non-EU 225 18 4
1. Finland 161 16 -1 1. Finland 156 13 -5
2. Sweden 154 15 -24 2. Germany 132 11 -5
3. Latvia 89 9 -1 3. Lithuania 113 9 6
4. Russia 80 8 12 4. Poland 110 9 12
5. Germany 77 7 27 5. Sweden 108 9 18
6. Lithuania 59 6 -5 6. Latvia 98 8 1
7. Norway 41 4 -5 7. Russia 82 7 32
8. Netherlands 38 4 51 8. Netherlands 78 6 4
9. USA 34 3 40 9. China 45 4 0
10. Denmark 30 3 -15 10. Turkey 30 2 -

Exports and imports by commodity section, April 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 1 036 100 -1 1 225 100 2 -189
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 83 8 -12 117 10 0 -34
Mineral products (V) 104 10 53 114 9 14 -11
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 59 6 20 102 8 2 -43
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 33 3 -8 64 5 -5 -31
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 111 11 3 41 3 8 70
Paper and articles thereof (X) 28 3 -5 23 2 6 5
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 30 3 -16 52 4 -4 -22
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 99 10 30 103 9 9 -4
Mechanical appliances (84) 85 8 13 127 10 -5 -42
Electrical equipment (85) 183 18 -24 183 15 -19 -1
Transport equipment (XVII) 63 6 -7 198 16 58 -136
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 30 3 -19 27 2 1 3
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 94 9 -3 31 3 9 63
Other 35 2 -3 43 4 -42 -8

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 May 2017, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 May 2017. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 14 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.