Foreign trade in services in surplus last year

News
Posted on 14 March 2023, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia and Eesti Pank, in the fourth quarter of 2022, Estonia’s exports of services grew by 12% and imports by 25% at current prices compared with the fourth quarter in 2021. Services were sold to non-residents for a total of 3 billion and purchased for 2.2 billion euros. The balance of foreign trade in services was therefore in surplus by 765 million euros in the fourth quarter, which is 125 million euros less than in the same period a year earlier. In 2022 as a whole, exports of services grew by 31% and imports by 19%.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the slower growth in exports of services in the fourth quarter was partly due to the high reference base. However, exports of services continue to exceed imports, offsetting the negative balance of foreign trade in goods. “If we examine services by type, we see that for the majority of services, we sell more than we buy. Examples include telecommunications, computer and information services, other business services, and transport services, which account for the largest share of our foreign trade in services and which we export more than we import,” Leppmets added.

In the fourth quarter, the most exported services were other business services (incl. other business support services), worth 907 million euros. This was followed by 690 million euros worth of exports of transport services (incl. freight transport services by road), and exports of telecommunications, computer and information services for 676 million euros. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2021, sales of other business services, travel services, and telecommunications, computer and information services to non-residents increased the most.

The top export partner for services in the fourth quarter of 2022 was Finland. The main services supplied to Finland were travel and transport services. Finland was followed by Sweden, with transport services being the biggest export item, and Latvia, where Estonian enterprises exported primarily other business services. The biggest increase occurred in exports to Finland (up by 71 million euros), Latvia (up by 54 million euros), and Lithuania (up by 41 million euros). More travel services were provided to Finland, other business services to Latvia, and transport services to Lithuania.

The main imports into Estonia in the fourth quarter were 680 million euros worth of other business services (incl. other business support services). This was followed by purchases of transport services (incl. freight transport services by sea) with 644 million, and telecommunications, computer and information services worth 416 million euros. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2021, the biggest rise occurred in the imports of other business services, travel services, and telecommunications, computer and information services.

As in exports, the top partner country for imports of services in the fourth quarter of 2022 was also Finland which mainly supplied transport services, other business services, and travel services to Estonia. Finland was followed by Germany, from which mainly other business services were purchased, and Lithuania, with transport services being the largest imports. In the fourth quarter, the biggest rise was recorded in imports of services from Lithuania, France (both up by 38 million euros), and Sweden (up by 32 million euros). Imports of transport services from Lithuania and other business services from France and Sweden grew the most.

In 2022 as a whole, Estonia’s exports of services totalled 10.8 billion euros and imports 8.4 billion euros. Other business services, transport services, telecommunications, computer and information services, and travel services accounted for the largest shares of both exports and imports. Compared with a year earlier, the trade of other business services and travel services grew the most, in both exports and imports. Exports of services were the highest to Finland, Sweden, and United Kingdom. The top countries for imports of services were Finland, Germany, and Lithuania. 

Estonia's foreign trade in services by quarter, 2018–2022
Estonia’s main partners in foreign trade in services, 4th quarter 2022
Country of destination, group of countries Exports, million euros Share, % Change on previous year, % Country of consignment, group of countries Imports, million euros Share, % Change on previous year, %
TOTAL 2,952 100 12 TOTAL 2,187 100 25
EU-27 1,914 65 11 EU-27 1,555 71 30
Euro area 19 1,474 50 7 Euro area 19 1,229 56 29
Non-EU 1,039 35 14 Non-EU 632 29 15
1. Finland 463 16 18 1. Finland 196 9 1
2. Sweden 225 8 9 2. Germany 173 8 6
3. Latvia 184 6 42 3. Latvia 153 7 33
4. USA 175 6 18 4. Lithuania 137 6 10
5. Germany 171 6 -56 5. Sweden 124 6 35
6. Lithuania 165 6 33 6. United Kingdom 109 5 -5
7. United Kingdom 164 6 2 7. Ireland 96 4 37
8. Netherlands 101 3 29 8. Poland 81 4 30
9. Switzerland 71 2 -15 9. Netherlands 75 3 51
10. France 66 2 49 10. USA 73 3 50

Exports and imports of services by type of service, 4th quarter 2022

Type of service (according to EBOPS 2010) Exports of services Imports of services Balance, million euros
Million euros

Share, %

Change on previous year, % Million euros Share, % Change on previous year, %
TOTAL 2,952 100 12 2,187 100 25 765
Manufacturing services on physical inputs owned by others (SA) 89 3 -1 39 2 61 50
Maintenance and repair services n.i.e. (SB)) 61 2 -1 32 1 -16 29
Transport (SC) 690 23 -1 644 29 4 46
Travel (SD) 309 10 68 250 11 40 59
Construction (SE) 103 4 -4 22 1 -6 81
Insurance and pension services (SF) 5 0 -47 14 1 43 -9
Financial services (excl. insurance and pension services) (SG) 40 1 -10 40 2 7 0
Charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e. (SH) 23 1 -91 19 1 -22 4
Telecommunications, computer and information services (SI) 676 23 21 416 19 13 260
Other business services (SJ) 907 31 60 680 31 75 227
Personal, cultural and recreational services (SK) 34 1 -1 23 1 34 12
Government goods and services (SL) 15 1 -3 9 1 -46 6

Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data on foreign trade in services in cooperation with Eesti Pank, as commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, with the aim to determine how exporting and importing enterprises are performing in Estonia.

See also the foreign trade section on our website.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database. Due to rounding, the sum of rows in some tables may differ from the sum total of the column.

For further information:

Vahur Koorits
Communications Partner
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9204

press [at] stat.ee

 

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