Mineral fuels impacted the decline in exports in January

News
Posted on 13. March 2023 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2023, exports and imports of goods at current prices decreased by 9% and 1% respectively, compared with the same month in 2022. Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to 1.5 billion and imports to 1.8 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 272 million euros, up by 127 million euros from a year earlier.

The figure in the news release was corrected on 14.03.2023.

Jane Leppmets, an analyst at Statistics Estonia, pointed out that although imports and exports of wood and articles of wood and raw materials and products of chemical industry also declined, the decrease in exports and imports in January was mainly affected by a marked fall in imports and exports of mineral fuels. “Looking at current prices, exports of mineral fuels in 2023 fell by 55% and imports by 44% compared with January last year. Exports of electricity to Latvia and imports from Finland as well as imports of various mineral products from Russia and Belarus decreased,“ Leppmets added.

The main commodities exported in January were electrical equipment (for 202 million euros), wood and articles of wood (for 183 million euros), and agricultural products and food preparations (for 168 million euros). The biggest decreases were registered in the exports of mineral products, including shale oil and electricity (down by 174 million euros), raw materials and products of chemical industry, incl. fertilisers (down by 37 million euros), and wood and articles of wood, incl. wood sawn lengthwise (down by 14 million euros). Compared with the same period of 2022, the biggest increase occurred in the exports of agricultural products and food preparations  (up by 38 million euros). A rise was also recorded in exports of transport equipment (up by 21 million euros) and machinery and mechanical appliances (up by 11 million euros). Compared with a year ago, the share of goods of Estonian origin in exports has remained almost unchanged, accounting for 67% of the total exports in January 2023.

Estonia's largest export partner in January was Finland (18% of total exports), followed by Latvia and Sweden (both 11%). The main commodities exported were electrical equipment to Finland and Sweden and mineral products, incl. electricity, to Latvia. Exports fell to both non-EU (18%) and EU (6%) countries. The biggest decreases were recorded in exports to the Netherlands, the United States, and Latvia, and increases to Finland, Nigeria, and Sweden.

The main commodities imported to Estonia in January were electrical equipment (for 231 million euros), mineral products (for 193 million euros), and transport equipment (for 191 million euros). The biggest decreases occurred in the imports of mineral products, including various oils and electricity (down by 155 million euros), wood and articles of wood, incl. wood sawn lengthwise (down by 28 million euros), raw materials and products of chemical industry, incl. fertilisers (down by 27 million euros), and base metals and articles of base metal, incl. flat-rolled products (down by 26 million euros). The biggest increases were recorded in the imports of electrical equipment (up by 46 million euros), agricultural products and food preparations (up by 35 million euros), and transport equipment (up by 23 million euros).

The top partner countries for Estonia’s imports of goods were Finland (14% of Estonia’s total imports), Latvia (11%), and Germany (11%).The main imports were mineral products from Finland and Latvia and transport equipment from Germany. The share of trade with EU countries in Estonia’s imports in January was 79%, with imports from euro area countries accounting for 60% of Estonia’s total imports. The biggest fall occurred in imports from countries outside the European Union, including Russia and Belarus (both down by 95%), while imports from EU member states, incl. Germany, Poland, and Latvia, increased the most.

Estonia's foreign trade by month, 2021–2023 (corrected)

Statistics Estonia performs the statistical activity “Foreign trade” for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with the aim to determine how exporting and importing enterprises are performing in Estonia.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2022–2023
Month Exports, million euros Imports, million euros Balance, million euros
2022 2023 Change, % 2022 2023 Change, % 2022 2023
January 1,636 1,491 -9 1,781 1,763 -1 -145 -272
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, January 2023
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 1,491 100 -9 TOTAL 1,763 100 -1
EU-27 1,134 76 -6 EU-27 1,396 79 10
Euro area 20 840 56 -8 Euro area 20 1,060 60 8
Non-EU 357 24 -18 Non-EU 368 21 -28
1. Finland 265 18 18 1. Finland 246 14 -8
2. Latvia 163 11 -15 2. Latvia 190 11 16
3. Sweden 162 11 11 3. Germany 186 11 24
4. Lithuania 106 7 12 4. Lithuania 164 9 -1
5. Germany 99 7 -17 5. Poland 135 8 34
6. Netherlands 73 5 -49 6. Sweden 128 7 5
7. Russia 53 4 -1 7. Netherlands 92 5 23
8. Denmark 52 3 -18 8. China 67 4 -11
9. Poland 50 3 -5 9. Belgium 48 3 22
10. Norway 49 3 6 10. Italy 43 2 23
Exports and imports by commodity section, January 2023
Commodity section (chapter) by  Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance, million euros
Million euros Share, % Change on previous year, % Million euros Share, % Change on previous year, %
TOTAL 1,491 100 -9 1,763 100 -1 -272
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 168 11 29 176 10 25 -8
Mineral products (V) 144 10 -55 193 11 -44 -49
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 80 5 -31 144 8 -16 -63
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 50 3 19 82 5 -6 -32
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 183 12 -7 49 3 -36 133
Paper and articles thereof (X) 33 2 -3 30 2 21 2
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 37 3 5 64 3 8 -27
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 137 9 0 171 10 -13 -34
Machinery and mechanical appliances (84) 129 9 9 173 10 5 -44
Electrical equipment (85) 202 14 -3 231 13 25 -30
Transport equipment (XVII) 117 8 22 191 11 14 -74
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 46 3 27 41 2 13 5
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 109 7 0 40 2 -11 69
Other 57 4 -2 177 10 132 -120

See also the foreign trade section on our website. Visualised data of Estonia’s foreign trade can be viewed in Statistics Estonia’s application.

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 (press[at]stat[dot]ee)