In May the trade in machinery and equipment declined the most

news release no 87

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2009 exports of goods at current prices were 31% less and imports 41% less than in the same month of the previous year. The decrease in trade was primarily caused by the steep decline in the exports and imports of machinery and equipment.

In May 2009, exports from Estonia totalled 8 billion kroons and imports to Estonia 8.5 billion kroons at current prices. The trade deficit amounted to 0.5 billion kroons. That was six times less than in May of the previous year amounting then to 2.9 billion kroons. Compared to May of the previous year, the trade in machinery and equipment decreased significantly — the relevant exports decreased by 0.9 and imports by 1.6 billion kroons. As a result of a bigger fall in imports compared to that of exports, trade surplus of 0.1 billion kroons was announced in the trade in machinery and equipment.

In May, the biggest share of exports was held by the commodities of machinery and equipment (accounting for 20% in Estonia’s total exports) as well as by mineral products (16%). The biggest decrease was in the sections of both machinery and equipment and in metals and products thereof. The decline in exports was announced among all commodity sections.

In May, the biggest share of imports was also held by machinery and equipment (18% of Estonia’s total imports) and by mineral products (18%). Compared to May of the previous year, the biggest decrease was reported in the imports of machinery and equipment (1.6 billion kroons), transport equipment (1.2 billion kroons) and metals and products thereof (1 billion kroons). The turnover of imports among all the commodity sections declined considerably.

Significant decline in Estonia’s foreign trade has been caused by the decreasing demand in internal and external markets in Estonia as well as in main partner countries. Steep decline in both exports and imports is characteristic of the whole Baltic region. According to Eurostat, during the four months of this year (January–April) a decline of more than a quarter was announced in the trade of Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania.

In May, the main countries of exports from Estonia were Finland (18% of total exports), Sweden and Latvia. The main commodities exported to Finland and Sweden were electrical machinery, and to Latvia — electric energy. A remarkable decrease in exports of goods from Estonia was announced to all main countries of destination. Exports increased notably only to Nigeria influenced by exported petroleum products.

The main countries from where goods were imported to Estonia in May were Finland (15% of total imports), Russia and Sweden. Commodities of electrical machinery and equipment were mostly imported from Finland, fuels from Russia and transport equipment from Sweden. Compared to May of the previous year, imports of goods from Germany and Finland declined the most.

Compared to April of this year, exports of goods from Estonia increased by 5% and imports to Estonia decreased by 10%. Foreign trade deficit decreased more than threefold compared to April. The increase in exports from Estonia was influenced by the increase in dispatches of mineral products (incl. fuels). The decline in imports was influenced by the decrease in the arrivals of products of the same commodity section.

Estonia’s foreign trade, January–May, 2008–2009

Month Exports, million kroons Imports, million kroons Balance, million kroons
2008 2009 change, %   2008 2009 change, % 2008 2009
January 10 155 7 244 -29 13 745 8 815 -36 -3 590 -1 571
February 10 679 7 786 -27 13 632 8 873 -35 -2 953 -1 087
March 10 652 8 259 -22 14 145 9 802 -31 -3 493 -1 543
April 12 338 7 677 -38 15 914 9 405 -41 -3 576 -1 728
May 11 555 8 023 -31 14 492 8 493 -41 -2 937 -470

Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, May 2009

Country of destination,
group of countries
Exports,
million kroons
Share,
%
Change compared to
same month of
previous year,
%
Country of
consignment,
group of countries
Imports,
million kroons
Share, % Change compared to
same month of
previous year,
%
Total 8 023 100 -31 Total 8 493 100 -41
EU 27 5 564 69 -32 EU 27 6 734 79 -42
CIS 868 11 -31 CIS 1 067 13 -39
1. Finland 1 452 18 -28 1. Finland 1 238 15 -42
2. Sweden 984 12 -40 2. Russia 941 11 -11
3. Latvia 786 10 -25 3. Sweden 851 10 -44
4. Russia 631 8 -32 4. Germany 842 10 -59
5. Nigeria 560 7 - 5. Lithuania 773 9 -46
6. Lithuania 467 6 -28 6. Latvia 768 9 -31
7. Germany 455 6 -30 7. Poland 456 5 -31
8. USA 296 4 -74 8. Nethelands 329 4 -41
9. Norway 286 4 -29 9. Belgium 272 3 -10
10. Denmark 267 3 -35 10. Denmark 217 3 -25

Exports and imports by commodity sections, May 2009

Commodity section by Combined
Nomenclature (CN)
Exports Imports Balance, million kroons
million kroons share,
%
change compared to
same month of
previous year,
%
million kroons share,
%
change compared to
same month of
previous year,
%
TOTAL 8 023 100 -31 8 493 100 -41 -470
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 761 9 -14 1 192 14 -9 -431
Mineral products (V) 1 304 16 -14 1 495 18 -36 -191
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 466 6 -30 864 10 -16 -398
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 238 3 -37 510 6 -26 -272
Wood and products thereof (IX) 712 9 -30 219 3 -45 493
Paper and articles thereof (X) 252 3 -22 229 3 -28 23
Textiles and products thereof (XI) 304 4 -32 415 5 -43 -111
Metals and products thereof (XV) 607 8 -59 696 8 -59 -89
Machinery and equipment (XVI) 1 629 20 -34 1 560 18 -50 69
Transport equipment (XVII) 640 8 -28 638 8 -65 2
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 697 9 -18 220 3 -37 477
Other 413 5 -34 455 4 -37 -42

The preliminary foreign trade data about May were released by Statistics Estonia on the 10th of July (on the 40th day after the end of the reference period). This news release provides the revised data and offers a more detailed overview of trade about the month under observation.

For further information:

Riina Kerner
Analyst
Foreign Trade Statistics Service
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9377

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.