In March, the production of shale oil fell

news release no 57

According to Statistics Estonia, in March 2020, the production of industrial enterprises decreased by 8% compared to March 2019. Production decreased in all industrial activities: manufacturing, energy production and mining.

According to Helle Bunder, analyst at Statistics Estonia, the impact of the novel coronavirus on manufacturing shows somewhat in March. “Of the 23 manufacturing activities, growth was recorded in only four: manufacture of food products, chemical and pharmaceutical products and electrical equipment. In the past, it was usual that half or even more activities presented a positive trend, but this is not the case anymore,” said Bunder.

In March, the total production in manufacturing decreased by 6% year on year. Among manufacturing activities with larger shares, production fell in the manufacture of computers and electronic products, fabricated metal products, building materials and shale oil. Compared to the previous year, production increased in the manufacture of food products and electrical equipment.

68% of the total production of manufacturing was sold to the external market. The shares of sales for export were largest in the case of manufacture of electronic products and electrical equipment. According to unadjusted data, the sales of manufacturing production for export decreased by 3% and sales to the domestic market by 2% year on year.

In March, compared to February, the seasonally adjusted total industrial production fell by 9% and the production of manufacturing by 11%.

In energy production, the production of electricity decreased by 42% and the production of heat by 9% compared to March 2019. The fall in the production of electricity was caused by a high price of CO2 emission allowances, which makes production of electricity from oil shale expensive.

Change in volume index of industrial production, March 2020
Economic activity Change on previous month according to seasonally adjusted data* Change on same month of previous year
according to unadjusted data according to working-day adjusted data**
TOTAL -9.1 -6.1 -8.3
Energy production 2.4 -30.7 -30.7
Mining -2.1 -22.7 -22.7
Manufacturing -10.7 -3.8 -6.2
manufacture of wood and wood products -10.3 2.0 -0.3
manufacture of food products -4.0 3.8 1.8
manufacture of computers, electronic and optical products 11.3 -4.4 -6.7
manufacture of fabricated metal products -5.6 -12.3 -15.2
manufacture of electrical equipment -0.1 11.2 7.0
manufacture of furniture -2.6 -12.9 -16.2
manufacture of motor vehicles -7.0 -5.5 -7.6
manufacture of building materials -2.9 -7.6 -10.0
manufacture of machinery and equipment -3.0 -14.4 -17.2
manufacture of chemical products 7.5 15.9 12.9

* The impact of different number of working days in a month and seasonally recurring factors has been eliminated. It is calculated only in comparison with the previous period.

** The impact of different number of working days in a month has been eliminated. It is calculated only in year-on-year comparisons.

Statistics Estonia performs the statistical activity “Production indices” for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with the aim to determine the economic situation in Estonia.

For further information:

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

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database (volume index of industrial production and production of electricity and heat)