Foreign trade declined by a fifth in August

News
Posted on 10 October 2023, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in August, Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to 1.5 billion and imports to 1.8 billion euros. Compared with the same month in 2022, exports of goods decreased by 22% and imports by 19% at current prices. The trade deficit in in August was 293 million euros, which is 7 million euros less than a year earlier.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, noted that, as in July, a significant factor behind the decline in both exports and imports of goods this August was the higher reference base of 2022. “Compared with last year, trade in goods with EU member states as well as non-EU countries fell. The biggest change in August was seen in exports and imports of mineral products, especially electricity. The drop in the prices of mineral products also played a major role in this,” Leppmets added.

The main commodities exported in August were electrical equipment (14% of Estonia’s total exports) and mineral products (12%). The biggest fall was recorded in the exports of mineral products – down by 238 million euros. The exports of agricultural products and food preparations and wood and articles of wood decreased by 42 million and 39 million euros, respectively. An increase was seen only in the exports of transport equipment, which rose by 17 million euros.

Exports of goods of Estonian origin fell by 21% in August compared with last year, but its share increased by one percentage point year on year, accounting for 64% of Estonia's total exports in August this year.

Estonia’s top export partner in August was Finland (18% of Estonia’s 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 Latvia (down by 148 million euros), the United States (by 61 million euros), and India (by 40 million euros). Compared with August last year, there were decreased exports of mineral products (incl. electricity) to Latvia, electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) to the US, and mineral products (incl. processed fuel oils) to India. The greatest increase (45-fold) occurred in exports to Singapore (up by 44 million euros), to which more mineral products (incl. shale oil) were exported than last year.

The main commodities imported in August were electrical equipment (14% of Estonia’s total imports), mineral products (12%), agricultural products and food preparations (12%), and transport equipment (12%). The biggest fall was recorded in the imports of mineral products – down by 359 million euros. The imports of mechanical appliances and raw materials and products of chemical industry decreased respectively by 31 million and 20 million euros. Imports of transport equipment increased the most, by 16 million euros.

In August, the top partner countries for Estonia’s imports of goods were Finland (15% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (12%), and Lithuania (11%). The main commodities imported were mineral products (incl. electricity) from Finland, transport equipment (incl. motor cars) from Germany, and mineral products (incl. gas oils) from Lithuania. The biggest fall occurred in imports of goods from Finland (down by 142 million euros), Russia (by 96 million euros), and Latvia and Lithuania (by 54 million euros each). Compared with August 2022, fewer mineral products were imported from these countries. There were lower imports of electricity from Finland, processed fuel oils from Russia, natural gas from Latvia, and gas oils from Lithuania. Imports from Denmark increased the most, by 26 million euros, with more imports of wind turbines than last year.

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 14,087 12,208 -13 16,472 14,195 -14 -2,385 -1,987
January 1,637 1,498 -9 1,782 1,659 -7 -145 -162
February 1,509 1,526 1 1,770 1,641 -7 -261 -115
March 1,985 1,706 -14 2,171 1,914 -12 -186 -209
April 1,601 1,501 -6 2,137 1,747 -18 -536 -247
May 1,929 1,646 -15 2,229 1,969 -12 -301 -323
June 1,838 1,596 -13 2,144 1,854 -14 -306 -258
July 1,698 1,265 -26 2,049 1,645 -20 -351 -380
August 1,890 1,472 -22 2,190 1,765 -19 -300 -293
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, August 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 1,472 100 -22 TOTAL 1,765 100 -19
EU-27 1,097 75 -14 EU-27 1,508 85 -16
Euro area 20 833 57 -15 Euro area 20 1,129 64 -19
Non-EU 375 25 -39 Non-EU 257 15 -37
1. Finland 266 18 -2 1. Finland 273 15 -34
2. Latvia 190 13 -44 2. Germany 205 12 -10
3. Sweden 142 10 -19 3. Lithuania 201 11 -21
4. Lithuania 128 9 12 4. Latvia 181 10 -23
5. Germany 82 6 -10 5. Poland 133 8 -9
6. Norway 56 4 -14 6. Sweden 130 7 -18
7. Poland 51 3 -1 7. Netherlands 90 5 9
8. Netherlands 50 3 18 8. China 88 5 -3
9. Singapore 45 3 - 9. Denmark 60 3 78
10. Russia 36 2 -45 10. Italy 43 2 -5
Exports and imports by commodity section, July 2023
Commodity section (chapter) by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance
Million euros

Share, %

Change on previous year, % Million euros Share, % Change on previous year, % Million euros
TOTAL 1,472 100 -22 1,765 100 -19 -293
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 151 10 -22 212 12 4 -61
Mineral products (V) 180 12 -57 218 12 -62 -38
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 77 5 -2 152 8 -12 -74
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 47 3 -6 87 5 -13 -40
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 147 10 -21 49 3 -14 98
Paper and articles thereof (X) 32 2 -31 30 2 -6 2
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 36 3 -9 76 4 3 -41
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 114 8 -25 158 9 -7 -44
Machinery and mechanical appliances (84) 146 10 -4 170 10 -15 -24
Electrical equipment (85) 206 14 -12 244 14 2 -38
Transport equipment (XVII) 132 9 15 207 12 8 -75
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 41 3 -14 35 2 -11 6
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 106 7 -10 46 3 -4 60
Other 57 4 -2 81 4 -4 -24

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 (press[at]stat[dot]ee)

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