In May, trade intensified

news release no 79

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2017, the exports of goods increased by 15% and imports by 14% compared to May 2016. Trade growth was influenced the most by a significant increase in the exports and imports of mineral products.

In May 2017, exports from Estonia amounted to 1.2 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.3 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 153 million euros (in May 2016, it was 147 million euros).

The top destination countries of Estonia’s exports in May were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (14%) and Latvia (9%). The biggest increase occurred in exports to Russia (up by 28 million euros), Canada (up by 23 million euros), Saudi Arabia (up by 20 million euros) and Germany (up by 20 million euros). Exports to Russia and Canada grew mainly due to re-exports but to Saudi Arabia and Germany due to increased exports of goods of Estonia origin. In exports to Russia, the exports of mechanical appliances (incl. excavators, wood and ores processing machines), to Canada, the exports of mineral products (incl. motor spirit), to Saudi Arabia, the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil) and agricultural products (incl. feed barley) and to Germany, the exports of electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) increased. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden (down by 39 million euros), where less electrical equipment was exported.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and articles of wood, and mineral products. The greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (up by 53 million euros), agricultural products and food preparations (up by 28 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 28 million euros), and wood and articles of wood (up by 24 million euros). At the same time, the exports of electrical equipment decreased (down by 43 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72% in May. In May 2017, the exports of goods of Estonian origin increased 12% and re-exports 25%. The rise in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by an increase in the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil, electricity), wood and articles of wood (incl. coniferous saw-timber, wood pellets), agricultural products and food preparations (incl. cereals) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (incl. furniture and log houses).

The main countries of consignment in May 2017 were Finland (12% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Lithuania (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Russia (up by 41 million euros) and Sweden (up by 17 million euros). Mostly mineral products (incl. motor spirit, fuel oil) were imported from Russia and transport equipment and mineral products (incl. bitumen) from Sweden. Imports from Hungary decreased the most, with less electrical equipment imported.

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

In May 2017, the foreign trade export volume index increased by 1% and the import volume index by 11% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2015–2017

Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, May 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 1 152 100 15 TOTAL 1 304 100 14
EU-28 810 70 7 EU-28 1 051 81 10
Euro area 19 534 46 17 Euro area 19 750 58 9
Non-EU 341 30 41 Non-EU 253 19 31
1. Finland 180 16 10 1. Finland 162 12 8
2. Sweden 167 14 -19 2. Germany 138 11 6
3. Latvia 100 9 5 3. Lithuania 120 9 10
4. Russia 80 7 53 4. Sweden 112 9 17
5. Germany 72 6 39 5. Latvia 106 8 9
6. Lithuania 70 6 15 6. Russia 89 7 85
7. Norway 42 4 15 7. Poland 87 7 16
8. USA 34 3 -6 8. Netherlands 74 6 -3
9. Denmark 31 3 2 9. China 59 4 20
10. Netherlands 29 3 47 10. United Kingdom 38 3 21
Exports and imports by commodity section, May 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 1 152 100 15 1 304 100 14 -153
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 103 9 38 137 11 13 -34
Mineral products (V) 121 11 76 145 11 63 -24
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 59 5 19 108 8 18 -49
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 37 3 7 76 6 16 -39
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 130 11 22 47 4 16 83
Paper and articles thereof (X) 32 3 18 26 2 16 6
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 33 3 8 56 4 6 -22
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 85 7 7 119 9 21 -34
Mechanical appliances (84) 97 8 41 136 10 9 -39
Electrical equipment (85) 198 17 -18 196 15 -5 3
Transport equipment (XVII) 81 7 24 138 11 6 -57
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 37 3 15 30 2 7 8
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 98 9 14 34 3 12 63
Other 40 4 18 58 4 27 -18

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 June 2017, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 June 2017. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 12 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.