In March, exports of mechanical appliances decreased the most

news release no 58

According to Statistics Estonia, in March 2020, compared to March 2019, the exports of goods decreased by 1% and imports by 2%. Compared to the first quarter of 2019, exports declined by 3% and imports by 4%. In the first quarter, trade decreased mostly due to declined exports and imports of electrical equipment and mineral products.

Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to 1.2 billion euros and imports to 1.4 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 150 million euros; it decreased by 16 million euros compared to March 2019.

According to Evelin Puura, a leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, wood processing equipment and shale oil had a significant impact on the fall in exports in March. “Imports dropped mainly because less electronic integrated circuits and passenger cars were imported,” explained Puura.

The top destination country of Estonia’s exports was Finland, followed by Sweden and Latvia. The biggest decreases occurred in exports to Belgium (down by 21 million euros), France (down by 20 million euros) and Denmark (down by 19 million euros). Compared to the previous year, shale oil was exported less to Belgium and Denmark, and fertilisers were exported less to France. Exports increased the most to Sweden and Finland. More communication equipment was exported to Sweden and more prefabricated wooden buildings were dispatched to Finland.

The biggest exports from Estonia were electrical equipment, mineral products, and wood and articles of wood. The year-on-year decline in exports came mainly from mechanical appliances (down by 21 million euros) and mineral products (down by 16 million euros). Exports increased the most for electrical equipment (up by 21 million euros) and precious metals (up by 19 million euros).

In March, goods of Estonian origin accounted for 69% of the total exports of goods. Their exports decreased by 5% and re-exports increased by 10% compared to March 2019. The biggest decline occurred for aviation spirit and shale oil of Estonian origin as well for machines and mechanical appliances with individual functions and their parts.

The main countries of consignment were Finland, Germany and Lithuania. Imports decreased the most from Sweden (down by 34 million euros), Finland (down by 22 million euros) and Latvia (down by 15 million euros). From Sweden, the imports of electrical and transport equipment decreased the most; from Finland, the imports of mechanical appliances and mineral products; and from Latvia, the imports of mineral products. Imports increased the most from the USA (up by 33 million euros).

The main commodities imported to Estonia were raw materials and products of chemical industry, mineral products, and agricultural products and food preparations. The biggest decrease occurred in the imports of electrical and transport equipment and biggest increase in the imports of raw materials and products of chemical industry and precious metals.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2019–2020
Month Exports, million euros Imports, million euros Balance, million euros
2019 2020 change, % 2019 2020 change, % 2019 2020
1st quarter 3,559 3,469 -3 3,933 3,769 -4 -374 -300
January 1,158 1,146 -1 1,278 1,166 -9 -120 -19
February 1,163 1,094 -6 1,251 1,225 -2 -88 -130
March 1,238 1,229 -1 1,405 1,379 -2 -166 -150
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, March 2020
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 1,229 100 -1 TOTAL 1,379 100 -2
EU-27 842 69 -1 EU-27 1,040 75 -5
Euro area 19 574 47 -6 Euro area 19 773 56 -3
Non-EU and United Kingdom 386 31 1 Non-EU and United Kingdom 339 25 9
1. Finland 221 18 14 1. Finland 163 12 -12
2. Sweden 160 13 27 2. Germany 144 10 -4
3. Latvia 105 9 -6 3. Lithuania 141 10 15
4. USA 79 6 -6 4. Latvia 122 9 -11
5. Germany 75 6 -16 5. Russia 117 8 2
6. Lithuania 68 6 4 6. Sweden 112 8 -23
7. Russia 65 5 -14 7. Poland 96 7 14
8. Denmark 42 3 -31 8. Netherlands 61 4 -2
9. Norway 40 3 -21 9. USA 48 3 -
10. Netherlands 38 3 52 10. China 40 3 -22
Exports and imports by commodity section, March 2020
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 1,229 100 -1 1,379 100 -2 -150
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 109 9 13 149 11 9 -39
Mineral products (V) 132 11 -11 154 11 -5 -21
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 66 5 -1 159 12 20 -93
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 41 3 12 78 6 10 -37
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 131 11 -5 54 4 14 77
Paper and articles thereof (X) 29 2 0 28 2 9 1
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 34 3 -9 57 4 -8 -23
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 93 8 -5 121 9 -17 -28
Mechanical appliances (84) 103 8 -17 139 10 -8 -36
Electrical equipment (85) 200 16 11 140 10 -21 60
Transport equipment (XVII) 77 6 -7 130 9 -20 -53
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 43 4 -9 32 2 -6 11
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 111 9 1 37 3 -3 74
Other 59 5 37 103 7 69 -44

Statistics Estonia performs the statistical activity “Foreign trade” 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 and pre-defined tables. Due to rounding, the sum of rows in some tables may differ from the sum total of the column. Visualized data of Estonia’s foreign trade can be viewed in Statistics Estonia’s application.