In November, the trade deficit decreased

news release no 6

According to Statistics Estonia, in November 2018, the exports of goods increased by 18% and imports by 15% compared to November 2017. The trade deficit was 56 million euros. The last time the balance was under 60 million euros was in January 2015.

In November 2018, exports from Estonia amounted to 1.39 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.44 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 21 million euros less than in November 2017.

In November 2018, the top destination countries of Estonia’s exports were Finland (15% of Estonia’s total exports of goods), Sweden (11%) and Latvia (9%). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; miscellaneous manufactured articles and wood and articles of wood were the main commodities exported to Sweden; mineral products, and agricultural products and food preparations were the main commodities exported to Latvia. The biggest increase occurred in exports to the USA (up by 76 million euros), Singapore (up by 37 million euros) and Finland (up by 20 million euros). In exports to the USA, the exports of data communication equipment increased the most. There was also an increase in the exports of shale oil to Singapore and in the exports of spruce and birch pulpwood and pre-fabricated wooden buildings to Finland. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Germany (down by 20 million euros).

In November, the biggest share in the exports of goods was held by electrical equipment (16% of the total exports of goods), followed by mineral products (13%), and agricultural products and food preparations (11%). The greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (up by 91 million euros), electrical equipment (up by 29 million euros), and agricultural products and food preparations (up by 21 million euros). The biggest decrease occurred in the exports of transport equipment (down by 24 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports of goods was 73% in November 2018. The exports of goods of Estonian origin increased by 21% and re-exports by 10% compared to November 2017. In the exports of goods of Estonian origin, the greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (shale oil, solvent), electrical equipment (data communication equipment), and agricultural products and food preparations (wheat, barley).

The main countries of consignment in November 2018 were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports of goods), Germany (10%), Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden (9% each). From Finland, mineral products, and base metals and articles of base metal were imported the most. Mineral products were imported the most from Lithuania and Russia, electrical equipment and transport equipment from Germany and Sweden, and agricultural products and food preparations from Latvia. The biggest increase occurred in imports from Russia (up by 62 million euros), Finland (up by 33 million euros) and Sweden (up by 20 million euros). From Russia and Finland, the imports of mineral products, and from Sweden, the imports of electrical equipment increased most.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment (15% of Estonia’s total imports of goods), mineral products (14%) and mechanical appliances, transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations (each 10%). The greatest increase was in the imports of mineral products (up by 102 million euros), base metals and articles of base metal (up by 24 million euros) and mechanical appliances (up by 16 million euros).

In November 2018, the foreign trade export and import volume index increased by 2% compared to November 2017.

Estonia\'s foreign trade by month, 2016–2018

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2017–2018
Month Exports, million euros Imports, million euros Balance, million euros
2017 2018 change, % 2017 2018 change, % 2017 2018
TOTAL 11,871 13,346 12 13,551 15,022 11 -1,680 -1,676
January 941 1,033 10 1,352 1,253 -7 -412 -220
February 974 1,116 15 1,075 1,203 12 -101 -87
March 1,182 1,141 -3 1,323 1,361 3 -141 -220
April 1,029 1,192 16 1,214 1,361 12 -186 -169
May 1,151 1,238 8 1,305 1,447 11 -154 -210
June 1,089 1,267 16 1,206 1,416 17 -117 -149
July 942 1,192 27 1,130 1,321 17 -188 -129
August 1,109 1,184 7 1,205 1,347 12 -96 -162
September 1,121 1,234 10 1,191 1,316 10 -70 -81
October 1,162 1,364 17 1,299 1,556 20 -137 -192
November 1,173 1,386 18 1,251 1,442 15 -78 -56
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, November 2018
Country of destination, group of countries Exports, million euros Share, % Change on same month of previous year, % Country of consignment, group of countries Imports, million euros Share, % Change on same month of previous year, %
TOTAL 1,386 100 18 TOTAL 1,442 100 15
EU-28 903 65 8 EU-28 1,125 78 9
Euro area 19 635 46 6 Euro area 19 798 55 9
Non-EU 483 35 45 Non-EU 317 22 47
1. Finland 210 15 10 1. Finland 192 13 21
2. Sweden 147 11 9 2. Germany 138 10 4
3. Latvia 122 9 9 3. Russia 135 9 85
4. USA 114 8 - 4. Lithuania 135 9 15
5. Germany 86 6 -19 5. Latvia 134 9 16
6. Russia 80 6 -8 6. Sweden 132 9 18
7. Lithuania 77 6 10 7. Poland 86 6 -13
8. Norway 51 4 11 8. China 60 4 30
9. Denmark 38 3 18 9. Netherlands 55 4 -23
10. Singapore 38 3 - 10. Italy 44 3 29
Exports and imports by commodity section, November 2018
Commodity section (chapter) by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance, million euros
million euros share, % change on same period of previous year, % million euros share,% change on same period of previous year, %
TOTAL 1,386 100 18 1,442 100 15 -56
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 154 11 16 141 10 2 12
Mineral products (V) 187 13 94 207 14 98 -20
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 73 5 17 120 8 -2 -48
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 38 3 -1 76 5 9 -38
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 142 10 15 51 4 12 92
Paper and articles thereof (X) 34 3 6 25 2 -4 9
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 35 3 1 58 4 4 -23
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 106 8 24 137 9 22 -30
Mechanical appliances (84) 116 8 16 144 10 13 -28
Electrical equipment (85) 220 16 15 212 15 8 8
Transport equipment (XVII) 79 6 -24 142 10 4 -64
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 40 3 2 35 2 17 5
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 115 8 15 39 3 2 76
Other 47 3 38 55 4 17 -7

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 December 2018, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 December 2018. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 9 working days. In the case of 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.

For further information:

Evelin Puura
Leading Analyst
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 differ from the sum total of the column.