The year began with growth in exports

news release no 30

According to Statistics Estonia, in January, compared to January 2017, the exports of goods increased by 9% and imports decreased by 8%. The growth in exports was broad‑based, increase occurred in most commodity sections.

In January 2018, exports from Estonia amounted to 1 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.2 billion euros. The trade deficit was 211 million euros (in January 2017, it was 410 million euros). The reason for the decrease in imports are non-recurring transactions with transport equipment in January 2017. Without considering these transactions, imports increased 11% in January 2018.

In January, the top destination countries of Estonia’s exports were Finland (17% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (12%) and Latvia (10%). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; electrical equipment and miscellaneous manufactured articles (prefabricated wood buildings, pillows, blankets) were the main commodities exported to Sweden; mineral products (electricity, fuel additives), agricultural products and food preparations (milk, beer) and transport equipment (motor cars) were the main commodities exported to Latvia. The biggest increase occurred in exports to Finland (up by 27 million euros), Canada (up by 15 million euros) and Latvia (up by 14 million euros). In exports to Finland, the exports of electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal increased. There was also an increase in the exports of mineral products to Canada and in the exports of transport equipment to Latvia. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden (down by 17 million euros), where less electrical equipment was dispatched.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by mineral products, and wood and articles of wood. The greatest increase was in the exports of transport equipment (up by 20 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 17 million euros) and mineral products (up by 16 million euros). The exports of raw materials and products of chemical industry decreased (down by 6 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 74% in January. The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew 11% and re-exports 4%. The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew the most in the commodity sections of mineral products (fuel additives, shale oil), mechanical appliances (parts of machines) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (prefabricated wood buildings, furniture). Among the main destination countries, the exports of goods of Estonian origin had the highest share (above 90%) in exports to the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

The main countries of consignment in January were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (10%), Sweden (9%) and Latvia (9%). Electrical equipment and mineral products (motor spirit, electricity) were the main commodities imported from Finland; transport equipment and electrical equipment from Germany and Sweden; agricultural products and food preparations, and mineral products (motor spirit, natural gas) from Latvia. The biggest decrease occurred in imports from Finland (down by 203 million euros), Lithuania (down by 37 million euros) and Poland (down by 23 million euros). From Finland and Poland, the imports of transport equipment decreased, and from Lithuania, the imports of mineral products decreased. Imports increased the most from Belarus (up by 38 million euros, i.e. approximately 5 times), Latvia (up by 26 million euros) and Sweden (up by 24 million euros). Mineral products were imported more from Belarus and Latvia, and transport equipment from Sweden.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, mineral products and transport equipment. The biggest decrease was in the imports of transport equipment. There was an increase in the imports of mechanical appliances (up by 28 million euros), base metals and articles of base metal (up by 24 million euros) and electrical equipment (up by 18 million euros).

In January 2018, the foreign trade export volume index decreased by 3% and the import volume index by 1% compared to January 2017.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2016–2018

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2017–2018
Month Exports, million euros Imports, million euros Balance, million euros
2017 2018 change, % 2017 2018 change, % 2017 2018
January 940 1 027 9 1 350 1 238 -8 -410 -211
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, January 2018
Country of destination, group of countries Exports, million euros Share, % Change on same month of previous year, % Country of consignment, group of countries Imports, million euros Share, % Change on same month of previous year, %
TOTAL 1027 100 9 TOTAL 1238 100 -8
EU-28 766 75 9 EU-28 962 78 -13
Euro area 19 529 52 15 Euro area 19 696 56 -19
Non-EU 261 25 9 Non-EU 276 22 14
1. Finland 173 17 18 1. Finland 157 13 -56
2. Sweden 127 12 -12 2. Germany 128 10 19
3. Latvia 99 10 16 3. Sweden 112 9 27
4. Germany 69 7 10 4. Latvia 109 9 31
5. Lithuania 64 6 21 5. Lithuania 96 8 -28
6. Netherlands 53 5 15 6. Russia 85 7 -19
7. Russia 53 5 12 7. Netherlands 80 6 14
8. Norway 40 4 -2 8. Poland 76 6 -23
9. Denmark 35 3 8 9. China 51 4 6
10. United Kingdom 33 3 53 10. Belarus 47 4 -

Exports and imports by commodity section, January 2018

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 1 027 100 9 1 238 100 -8 -211
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 82 8 7 120 10 9 -38
Mineral products (V) 118 11 16 169 14 3 -52
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 47 5 -11 105 8 6 -57
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 34 3 15 65 5 20 -32
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 115 11 2 42 3 26 73
Paper and articles thereof (X) 32 3 16 24 2 19 8
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 31 3 0 53 4 1 -22
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 79 8 -2 111 9 27 -32
Mechanical appliances (84) 82 8 26 119 10 30 -37
Electrical equipment (85) 171 17 2 192 16 10 -21
Transport equipment (XVII) 71 7 38 132 11 -64 -61
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 37 4 42 25 2 6 12
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 91 9 9 30 2 6 61
Other 37 3 13 52 4 10 -16

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 2018, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 February 2018. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 13 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 differ from the sum total of the column.