Trade in goods with non-EU countries decreased the most in May

News
Posted on 10 July 2023, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2023, Estonia’s exports of goods decreased by 15% and imports by 13% at current prices compared with May 2022. Exports of goods amounted to 1.6 billion and imports to 1.9 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 309 million euros, which is 12 million euros more than in May last year.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that, in May, there was a noticeable decrease in trade with many of Estonia’s main partner countries. “In trade with EU countries, the decline was 6% for exports and 5% for imports. There was a more substantial decrease in trade with non-EU countries, where exports fell by 33% and imports by 38%. Russia is no longer among the top ten partner countries for Estonia’s imports, which is mainly the result of decreased imports of mineral fuels and articles of wood,” added Leppmets.

The main commodities exported in May were electrical equipment (14% of Estonia’s total exports), transport equipment (12%), and wood and articles of wood (11%). The biggest fall was recorded in the exports of mineral products (down by 248 million euros). The exports of wood and articles of wood decreased by 43 million euros and the exports of base metals and articles of base metal by 40 million euros. Compared with May 2022, the biggest increase occurred in the exports of transport equipment (up by 74 million euros) and mechanical appliances (up by 21 million euros). The share of goods of Estonian origin in exports fell by four percentage points compared with May 2022 and was 65% of total exports in May this year. Year on year, the exports of goods of Estonian origin decreased by 21%.

Estonia’s top export partner in May was Finland (15% of total exports), followed by Latvia (13%) and Sweden (10%). The main commodities exported were electrical equipment (incl. static converters) to Finland, mineral products (incl. electricity) to Latvia, and electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) to Sweden. The biggest decline was registered in exports to the United States, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Compared with May last year, there were decreased exports of electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) to the USA, and lower exports of mineral products (incl. mineral oils) to Egypt and to the United Arab Emirates. The greatest increase occurred in exports to Lithuania, where more transport equipment (incl. motor cars) was exported in May this year, and in exports to the Netherlands, where more mineral products (incl. mineral oils) were exported.

The main commodities imported to Estonia in May were transport equipment, electrical equipment and mineral products. The biggest fall was recorded in the imports of mineral products (down by 170 million euros). The imports of base metals and articles of base metal decreased by 65 million euros, and the imports of wood and articles of wood by 61 million euros. The biggest increases were recorded in the imports of transport equipment (up by 48 million euros), agricultural products and food preparations (up by 16 million euros), and electrical equipment (up by 11 million euros).

In May, the top partner countries for Estonia’s imports of goods were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (12%) and Latvia (10%). The main commodities imported were mineral products (incl. electricity) from Finland, transport equipment (incl. motor cars) from Germany, and agricultural products and food preparations (incl. non-alcoholic beverages) from Latvia. The biggest fall occurred in imports from Russia, Lithuania and Latvia due to decreased imports of mineral products. There were fewer imports of mineral oils from Russia, smaller imports of petroleum oils from Lithuania, and lower imports of natural gas from Latvia. Compared with May 2022, imports from Kazakhstan increased the most, boosted by greater imports of mineral products (incl. petroleum oils).

Estonia's foreign trade by month, 2021–2023
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
TOTAL 8,659 7,894 -9 10,088 9,004 -11 -1,429 -1,110
January 1,636 1,496 -9 1,781 1,772 0 -145 -276
February 1,509 1,527 1 1,778 1,641 -8 -269 -113
March 1,986 1,708 -14 2,172 1,901 -12 -186 -193
April 1,599 1,526 -5 2,131 1,745 -18 -532 -219
May 1,930 1,636 -15 2,226 1,945 -13 -297 -309
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, May 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 1,636 100 -15 TOTAL 1,945 100 -13
EU-27 1,199 73 -6 EU-27 1,636 84 -5
Euro area 20 888 54 -5 Euro area 20 1,223 63 -8
Non-EU 436 27 -33 Non-EU 309 16 -38
1. Finland 247 15 -12 1. Finland 308 16 -1
2. Latvia 207 13 -13 2. Germany 237 12 4
3. Sweden 159 10 -20 3. Latvia 187 10 -22
4. Lithuania 139 9 21 4. Lithuania 179 9 -23
5. Germany 101 6 1 5. Poland 155 8 3
6. Netherlands 65 4 37 6. Sweden 155 8 2
7. Norway 57 4 -17 7. Netherlands 88 5 -12
8. Russia 56 3 10 8. China 66 3 -26
9. Poland 56 3 8 9. Italy 56 3 -5
10. Denmark 45 3 -11 10. Czechia 43 2 40
Exports and imports by commodity section, May 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 1,636 100 -15 1,945 100 -13 -309
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 162 10 2 218 11 8 -55
Mineral products (V) 163 10 -60 224 12 -43 -61
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 78 5 -6 161 8 -12 -83
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 54 3 -6 95 5 -21 -41
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 172 11 -20 70 4 -46 102
Paper and articles thereof (X) 29 2 -25 30 2 -7 -2
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 38 2 -6 63 3 -11 -25
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 137 8 -23 183 9 -26 -46
Machinery and mechanical appliances (84) 155 9 16 219 11 -1 -64
Electrical equipment (85) 226 14 -3 236 12 5 -11
Transport equipment (XVII) 195 12 61 252 13 24 -56
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 52 3 7 53 3 10 0
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 115 7 -23 44 2 -18 71
Other 58 4 -7 98 5 1 -39

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.

See also the foreign trade section on our website. Statistics Estonia’s foreign trade application provides visualised foreign trade data for Estonia.

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.

When using Statistics Estonia’s data and graphs, please indicate the source.

For further information:

Helen Maria Raadik
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181
press [at] stat.ee

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