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Last year, exports remained close to the level of 2019

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Posted on 10. February 2021 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2020, exports of goods decreased by 1% and imports by 6% year on year. There was a fall in trade in the first half of the year, which was counterbalanced by the growth in the final months of the year – in December, exports grew by 25% and imports by 10%.

Last year, Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to 14.3 billion euros and imports to 15.1 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 845 million euros, which is two times smaller than in 2019. The decrease in trade deficit was largely due to diminished imports of transport equipment and increased exports of electrical equipment. The biggest surplus was recorded in trade in wood and articles of wood and in miscellaneous manufactured articles (incl. furniture, prefabricated wood buildings). The biggest deficit was recorded in trade in raw materials and products of chemical industry and in transport equipment.

Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that 2020 was a year of big changes in trade. “Trade underwent a slight decrease in the first quarter, and then suffered a sharp decline in the second quarter. This was caused by restrictions related to the coronavirus, as many enterprises were forced to cut their production volumes and cross-border trade was hampered. The third quarter showed positive trends again, and the economy really picked up speed in the fourth quarter, especially in the final months of the year,” explained Puura.

The 27 countries of the European Union (EU) accounted for 66% of Estonia’s total exports and for 76% of its imports. Estonia’s trade deficit with EU countries was 2 billion euros, which is 445 million euros less than in 2019. In trade with EU countries, exports fell by 4% and imports by 7%, which was also influenced by the United Kingdom leaving the EU. In trade with non-EU countries, exports grew by 7% and imports fell by 3%.

As before, the biggest export items in Estonia in 2020 were electrical equipment, mineral products, wood and articles of wood, and agricultural products and food preparations. Exports received the biggest boost from the increase in the exports of electrical equipment (by 259 million euros). The biggest decreases occurred in the exports of mineral products (by 133 million euros), transport equipment (by 124 million euros) and mechanical appliances (by 104 million euros). The top destination country of Estonia’s exports was Finland, followed by Sweden and Latvia.

Goods of Estonian origin accounted for 71% of the total exports of goods. Compared to 2019, the exports of goods of Estonian origin and their re-exports both decreased by 1%. There was a significant fall in the exports of shale oil, processed fuel oil, automatic goods-vending machines, parts of equipment, and prefabricated wood buildings of Estonian origin. The biggest increase occurred in the exports of communication equipment, integrated circuits, and disinfection products of Estonian origin. Finland, Sweden and the USA were the main destination countries for goods of Estonian origin.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, mineral products, and agricultural products and food preparations. Compared to 2019, the biggest decreases occurred in the imports of transport equipment (by 349 million euros) and mineral products (by 325 million euros). At the same time, imports of wood and articles of wood increased. The main countries of consignment were Finland, Germany and Latvia.

In 2020, Estonia exported goods to 184 countries and imported goods from 143 countries. Estonia had a positive foreign trade balance with 140 countries. The largest surplus was recorded in trade with the USA, Norway and Sweden, while the biggest deficit was recorded in trade with Germany, Poland and Lithuania.

In December 2020, Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to 1.3 billion euros and imports to 1.5 billion euros. Exports increased by 25% and imports by 10% compared to December 2019. In December, exports were boosted the most by exports of electrical equipment and mineral products, while the increase in imports was largely due to imports of electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal. In December, the top destination countries of Estonia’s exports were the USA, Finland and Latvia. The top countries of consignment were Finland, Lithuania and Germany.

Estonia's foreign trade by month, 2018–2020
Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2019–2020
Month Exports, million euros Imports, million euros Balance, million euros
2019 2020 Change, % 2019 2020 Change, % 2019 2020
TOTAL 14,392 14,304 -1 16,099 15,149 -6 -1,708 -845
1st quarter 3,560 3,472 -2 3,935 3,758 -5 -375 -286
January 1,158 1,148 -1 1,279 1,163 -9 -121 -15
February 1,163 1,089 -6 1,251 1,210 -3 -88 -121
March 1,239 1,235 0 1,406 1,385 -1 -167 -150
2nd quarter 3,750 3,189 -15 4,106 3,356 -18 -356 -167
April 1,241 1,017 -18 1,389 1,084 -22 -148 -67
May 1,335 1,002 -25 1,434 1,093 -24 -100 -91
June 1,175 1,170 0 1,283 1,180 -8 -108 -10
3rd quarter 3,508 3,564 2 3,976 3,790 -5 -468 -226
July 1,174 1,163 -1 1,375 1,302 -5 -201 -139
August 1,148 1,087 -5 1,246 1,197 -4 -98 -111
September 1,186 1,315 11 1,355 1,291 -5 -169 24
4th quarter 3,573 4,079 14 4,082 4,245 4 -509 -166
October 1,274 1,404 10 1,447 1,378 -5 -173 27
November 1,220 1,331 9 1,297 1,392 7 -78 -62
December 1,079 1,344 25 1,338 1,475 10 -259 -131
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, 2020
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 14,304 100 -1 TOTAL 15,149 100 -6
EU-27 9,470 66 -4 EU-27 11,539 76 -7
Euro area 19 6,744 47 -5 Euro area 19 8,653 57 -5
Non-EU and United Kingdom 4,835 34 7 Non-EU and United Kingdom 3,611 24 -3
1. Finland 2,237 16 -4 1. Finland 2,052 14 1
2. Sweden 1,490 10 -1 2. Germany 1,590 10 -3
3. Latvia 1,289 9 -2 3. Latvia 1,446 10 -1
4. USA 1,125 8 15 4. Lithuania 1,407 9 -15
5. Germany 900 6 -1 5. Russia 1,207 8 -8
6. Lithuania 822 6 -7 6. Sweden 1,163 8 -23
7. Russia 803 6 -7 7. Poland 1,044 7 2
8. Netherlands 577 4 20 8. Netherlands 665 4 -1
9. Denmark 478 3 -20 9. China 647 4 18
10. Norway 466 3 -14 10. Italy 379 3 -6
Exports and imports by commodity section, 2020
Commodity section (chapter) by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports, million euros Share, % Change on previous year, % Imports, million euros Share, % Change on previous year, % Balance, million euros
TOTAL 14,304 100 -1 15,149 100 -6 -845
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 1,427 10 4 1,622 11 -1 -195
Mineral products (V) 1,580 11 -8 1,768 12 -16 -188
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 775 5 3 1,476 10 3 -701
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 451 3 1 839 5 -1 -389
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 1,490 10 -2 586 4 8 904
Paper and articles thereof (X) 305 2 -7 267 2 -8 38
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 376 3 -5 628 4 -8 -251
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 1,117 8 -5 1,355 9 -10 -239
Mechanical appliances (84) 1,212 9 -8 1,550 10 -6 -339
Electrical equipment (85) 2,346 16 12 1,882 12 -7 464
Transport equipment (XVII) 924 7 -12 1,483 10 -19 -560
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 540 4 13 405 2 6 136
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 1,157 8 -5 422 3 -4 735
Other 604 4 10 866 6 14 -261

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.

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. Visualised data of Estonia’s foreign trade can be viewed in Statistics Estonia’s application.

 

For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

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