Trade increased again after three years of decline

news release no 18

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, the exports and imports of goods increased by 3% each compared to 2015. The last time trade grew in comparison of years was in 2012.

In 2016, exports of goods from Estonia amounted to 11.9 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 13.5 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit in 2016 was 1.6 billion euros, the deficit increased by nearly 73 million euros compared to 2015. The largest surplus was in the trade in wood and articles of wood and miscellaneous manufactured articles (incl. furniture and prefabricated buildings of wood), the largest deficit was registered in the trade in transport equipment and in raw materials and products of chemical industry.

Similarly to previous years, electrical equipment was exported the most, accounting for 22% of Estonia’s total exports in 2016. This was followed by the exports of wood and articles of wood (10%), agricultural products and food preparations (9%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (9%). The increase in exports was mostly impacted by a rise in the exports of mechanical machinery, electrical equipment and wood and articles of wood. The biggest decrease in exports in 2016 year was recorded in mineral products and agricultural products and food preparations.

The top destination country of Estonia’s exports in 2016 was Sweden (18% of Estonia’s total exports). Finland (16%) was second and Latvia (9%) third. The biggest increase occurred in exports to Mexico, Germany and Finland. Exports to Latvia, Sweden and the USA decreased the most in 2016.

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72% in 2016. In the exports of goods of Estonian origin, the largest increase was in the exports of mineral products, wood and articles of wood and electrical equipment. The exports of agricultural products and food preparations dropped significantly.

The main destination countries of goods of Estonian origin are Sweden, Finland and Germany. The biggest increase in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was in the exports to Mexico and Germany and the biggest decrease in the exports to Sweden and Russia.

In 2016, the main commodity imported to Estonia was electrical equipment; its share amounted to 18% of Estonia’s total imports. The second and third places were held by transport equipment (11%) and agricultural products and food preparations (11%). In a year, the imports of transport equipment and base metals and articles of base metal increased the most. The imports of mineral products decreased.

The main countries of consignment in 2016 were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), and Lithuania (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from the Netherlands, Hungary and France. The largest decrease was registered in imports from Finland and Russia.

Estonia exported goods to 179 countries and imported goods from 144 countries. A positive foreign trade balance was recorded in the case of 97 countries. The biggest surplus (1 billion euros) was recorded in trade with Sweden, followed by Norway, Mexico and Finland. The biggest deficit was recorded in trade with Germany, Poland and Lithuania.

In 2016, the share of European Union countries in Estonia’s total exports was 74% and total imports 82%. The trade deficit with other European Union countries totalled 2.4 billion euros, which is 219 million euros more than in 2015. Exports to EU countries increased by 85 million euros and imports by 303 million euros. In trade with non-EU countries, exports increased by 232 million and imports by 86 million euros.

In 2016 compared to 2015, export prices decreased by 1% and import prices by 2%.

In December 2016, exports of goods from Estonia amounted to 1.0 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.2 billion euros. Compared to December 2015, exports increased 10% and imports 8%.
Estonia’s foreign trade, January–December, 2015–2016
Month Exports, million euros Imports, million euros Balance, million euros
2015 2016 change, % 2015 2016 change, % 2015 2016
TOTAL 11 565.6 11 882.6 3 13 110.6 13 500.3 3 -1 545.0 -1 617.6
January 917.7 823.4 -10 966.6 979.1 1 -48.9 -155.7
February 863.1 918.8 6 1 014.3 1 057.7 4 -151.2 -138.9
March 1 048.5 1 032.4 -2 1 207.6 1 186.5 -2 -159.1 -154.1
April 1 031.1 1 048.0 2 1 129.3 1 205.5 7 -98.3 -157.5
May 955.9 997.8 4 1 044.7 1 144.8 10 -88.8 -147.1
June 1 000.4 974.6 -3 1 168.0 1 132.2 -3 -167.5 -157.6
July 935.5 886.7 -5 1 106.6 1 042.1 -6 -171.1 -155.4
August 913.9 1 020.1 12 1 021.6 1 089.6 7 -107.8 -69.5
September 980.5 1 102.2 12 1 141.3 1 176.4 3 -160.8 -74.2
October 1 010.8 1 027.2 2 1 140.2 1 168.5 2 -129.4 -141.3
November 1 005.9 1 063.5 6 1 099.7 1 159.6 5 -93.8 -96.1
December 902.3 988.1 10 1 070.7 1 158.4 8 -168.4 -170.3
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, 2016
Country of destination, group of countries Exports, million euros Share, % Change compared to previous year, % Country of consignment, group of countries Imports, million euros Share, % Change compared to previous year, %
TOTAL 11 882.6 100 3 TOTAL 13 500.3 100 3
EU-28 8 774.5 74 1 EU-28 11 129.4 82 3
Euro area 19 5 501.3 46 1 Euro area 19 7 911.9 59 3
Non-EU 3 108.1 26 8 Non-EU 2 370.9 18 4
1. Sweden 2 131.5 18 -2 1. Finland 1 759.8 13 -7
2. Finland 1 888.7 16 4 2. Germany 1 483.5 11 3
3. Latvia 1 093.7 9 -9 3. Lithuania 1 281.3 9 2
4. Russia 773.5 7 0 4. Latvia 1 129.9 8 2
5. Lithuania 713.1 6 5 5. Sweden 1 121.4 8 1
6. Germany 704.4 6 16 6. Poland 974.4 7 0
7. Norway 483.1 4 1 7. Netherlands 847.9 6 18
8. Denmark 379.1 3 14 8. Russia 747.6 6 -5
9. Netherlands 329.8 3 -13 9. China 555.8 4 7
10. USA 317.7 3 -12 10. Italy 355.0 3 7
Exports and imports by commodity section, 2016
Commodity section (chapter) by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance, million euros
million euros share, % change compared to same year, % million euros share,% change compared to same year, %
TOTAL 11 882.6 100 3 13 500.3 100 3 -1 617.6
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 1 075.8 9 -5 1 437.1 11 2 -361.4
Mineral products (V) 930.3 8 -13 1 182.5 9 -17 -252.2
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 580.2 5 6 1 130.2 8 4 -549.9
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 391.1 3 3 729.2 5 3 -338.1
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 1 210.7 10 6 423.4 3 6 787.3
Paper and articles thereof (X) 334.3 3 4 271.1 2 0 63.2
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 382.7 3 9 644.9 5 10 -262.2
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 841.5 7 0 1 107.8 8 6 -266.4
Mechanical appliances (84) 938.7 8 12 1 377.9 10 4 -439.3
Electrical equipment (85) 2 558.3 22 3 2 395.0 18 1 163.2
Transport equipment (XVII) 739.6 6 7 1 440.2 11 18 -700.6
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 1 070.7 9 5 364.2 3 3 706.5
Other 828.9 7 11 996.6 7 8 -167.8

The statistics are based on the questionnaires “Intrastat” and “Exports (sale of fish and crustaceans in foreign waters and ports)”, the due dates of which were, respectively, 14 and 15 January 2017, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 January 2017. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 13 working days. For the statistical activity “Foreign trade”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

As of January 2016, Statistics Estonia publishes data on the exports of goods of Estonian origin on a monthly basis. The data are available in the Statistical Database. The time series starts from 2013.

For further information:

Evelin Puura
Leading Statistician-Methodologist
Enterprise and Agricultural Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9259

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database and pre-defined tables. Due to rounding, the sum of rows in some tables may differ from the sum total of the column.