In March, exports decreased year on year

news release no 51

According to Statistics Estonia, in March 2018, the exports of goods decreased by 3% and imports increased by 4% compared to March 2017. In the first quarter of the current year, exports increased by 6% and imports by 2%, compared to the same period of 2017.

In March 2018, exports from Estonia amounted to 1.1 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.4 billion euros. The trade deficit was 228 million euros (in March 2017, it was 142 million euros).

In March, the top destination countries of Estonia’s exports were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (12%) and Latvia (9%). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; electrical equipment and wood and articles of wood (wood in the rough, doors and windows of coniferous wood) were the main commodities exported to Sweden; agricultural products and food preparations (beer, cider) and transport equipment (motor cars) were the main commodities exported to Latvia. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to the Netherlands (down by 26 million euros) and Sweden (down by 22 million euros). In exports to the Netherlands, the exports of mineral products decreased. There was also a decrease in the exports of electrical equipment to Sweden. The biggest increase occurred in exports to Australia and Singapore (up by 18 million euros and 16 million euros, respectively), where mainly mineral products were dispatched.

In March, the biggest share in the exports of goods was held by electrical equipment (17% of the total exports of goods), followed by wood and articles of wood, and mineral products (both 12%). The greatest decrease was in the exports of agricultural products and food preparations (down by 22 million euros), electrical equipment and metals and articles of base metal (both down by 11 million euros). At the same time, there was an increase in the exports of mechanical appliances (up by 19 million euros) and mineral products (up by 12 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 70% in March 2018. The exports of goods of Estonian origin decreased by 7%, i.e. 65 million euros, and re-exports grew by 8%, i.e. 26 million euros. Decreased exports in the commodity sections of electrical equipment and agricultural products and food preparations contributed to the decrease in the exports of goods of Estonian origin.

The main countries of consignment in February were Germany and Finland (both with 12% share of Estonia’s total imports) and Sweden (11%). Transport equipment and electrical equipment were the main commodities imported from Germany; electrical equipment and metals and articles of base metal from Finland; electrical equipment and transport equipment from Sweden. The biggest increase occurred in imports from Belarus (up by 39 million euros, i.e. approximately 11 times), Lithuania (up by 27 million euros) and Sweden (up by 23 million euros). Mineral products (motor spirit, fuel additives) were imported more from Belarus and Lithuania, electrical equipment from Sweden. Imports decreased the most from the Netherlands (down by 23 million euros), China (down by 19 million euros) and Finland (down by 16 million euros).

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment (15% of Estonia’s total imports of goods), mineral products (13%) and mechanical appliances (12%). The greatest increase was in the imports of mineral products (up by 73 million euros) and base metals and articles of base metal (up by 14 million euros). In March, the greatest decrease occurred in the imports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (down by 12 million euros).

In March 2018, the foreign trade export volume index decreased by 2% and the import volume index by 5% compared to March 2017.

In the 1st quarter of 2018, exports from Estonia amounted to 3.3 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 3.8 billion euros. The trade deficit in the 1st quarter was 541 million euros (in the 1st quarter of 2017, it was 652 million euros).

In the 1st quarter of 2018, the growth in exports, compared to the same period of the previous year, was supported by increased exports of mineral products (up by 100 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 48 million euros) and transport equipment (up by 26 million euros). In the comparison by countries, exports have increased the most to Singapore, Finland, Canada and Germany. At the same time, exports to Sweden have decreased the most.

In the 1st quarter, the growth in imports was affected the most by an increase in the imports of mineral products (up by 109 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 73 million euros), and base metals and articles of base metal (up by 55 million euros). By countries, imports in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the 1st quarter of 2017 grew the most from Belarus, Sweden and Latvia. Imports from Finland decreased the most.

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
I quarter 3,090 3,288 6 3,742 3,828 2 -652 -541
January 940 1,030 10 1,350 1,253 -7 -410 -223
February 972 1,118 15 1,072 1,208 13 -100 -90
March 1,179 1,140 -3 1,321 1,367 4 -142 -228
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, March 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 1,140 100 -3 TOTAL 1,367 100 4
EU-28 770 68 -9 EU-28 1,086 79 1
Euro area 19 525 46 -8 Euro area 19 755 55 -1
Non-EU 370 32 11 Non-EU 281 21 14
1. Finland 183 16 -2 1. Germany 161 12 0
2. Sweden 139 12 -14 2. Finland 160 12 -9
3. Latvia 97 9 1 3. Sweden 152 11 18
4. Germany 82 7 10 4. Lithuania 133 10 26
5. Russia 76 7 -2 5. Latvia 117 9 1
6. Lithuania 61 5 -11 6. Russia 103 8 22
7. Norway 48 4 -4 7. Poland 88 6 -9
8. USA 36 3 -17 8. Netherlands 53 4 -30
9. Denmark 33 3 -19 9. Belarus 44 3 -
10. Netherlands 29 3 -47 10. China 40 3 -32
Exports and imports by commodity section, March 2018
Commodity section (chapter) by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance, million euros
million euros share, % change on same period of previous year, % million euros share,% change on same period of previous year, %
TOTAL 1,140 100 -3 1,367 100 4 -228
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 84 7 -21 125 9 -5 -41
Mineral products (V) 135 12 10 180 13 68 -44
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 61 5 -7 120 9 -9 -58
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 34 3 -6 67 5 -9 -33
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 137 12 3 47 3 3 90
Paper and articles thereof (X) 31 3 6 24 2 -1 8
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 36 3 -13 56 4 -11 -21
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 77 7 -12 123 9 13 -46
Mechanical appliances (84) 115 10 20 159 12 4 -44
Electrical equipment (85) 190 17 -6 203 15 2 -13
Transport equipment (XVII) 76 7 -2 148 11 1 -72
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 33 3 -7 33 2 3 0
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 99 9 -8 32 2 -15 67
Other 32 2 -16 51 4 -24 -19

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 April 2018, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 April 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 analyst
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.