In May, exports of goods declined by 25%

news release no 84

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2020, compared to May 2019, the exports of goods decreased by 25% and imports by 24%. Compared to April 2020, exports decreased by 2% and imports remained at the same level.

Estonia’s exports of goods amounted to 1 billion euros and imports to 1.09 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 84 million euros; it decreased by 16 million euros compared to May 2019.

According to Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, trade decreased the most with European Union Member States. Exports decreased by 232 million euros and imports by 306 million euros. “In May, trade decreased in most commodity sections, but, on the positive side, the month-on-month change was not very significant,” explained Puura.

In May, the top destination country of Estonia’s exports was Finland, followed by Sweden and Latvia. The biggest decreases occurred in exports to Spain (down by 41 million euros), Finland, the USA and the Netherlands (all down by 34 million euros). Compared to the previous year, shale oil was exported less to Spain and the Netherlands, fuel oils and lubricating oils to Finland and communication equipment to the USA. Exports increased the most to Canada (up by 10 million euros), with more refined motor spirit dispatched.

The biggest exports from Estonia were electrical equipment, wood and articles of wood, and mechanical appliances. The year-on-year decline in exports came mainly from mineral products (down by 106 million euros), electrical equipment (down by 44 million euros) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (down by 40 million euros).

In May, goods of Estonian origin accounted for 71% of the total exports of goods. Their exports decreased by 27% and re-exports by 18% compared to May 2019. The biggest decline occurred for shale oil of Estonian origin, prefabricated log houses and communication equipment. Goods of Estonian origin accounted for the biggest share in the commodity sections of wood and articles of wood (96%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles, such as furniture and log houses (91%).

The main countries of consignment were Finland, Russia and Latvia. Imports decreased the most from Sweden (down by 71 million euros), Lithuania (down by 55 million euros) and Germany (down by 47 million euros). From Sweden and Germany, the imports of motor cars, and from Lithuania, the imports of fuels decreased the most. Imports of goods increased the most from China and Switzerland (both up by 4 million euros), with more protective equipment imported from China and unwrought gold from Switzerland.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were mineral products, electrical equipment, agricultural products and food preparations. The biggest decrease occurred in the imports of transport equipment (down by 90 million euros), electrical equipment and mechanical appliances (both down by 48 million euros).

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
TOTAL 6,132 5,508 -10 6,757 5,931 -12 -625 -423
January 1,158 1,148 -1 1,278 1,162 -9 -120 -14
February 1,163 1,093 -6 1,251 1,210 -3 -88 -117
March 1,238 1,239 0 1,405 1,388 -1 -166 -149
April 1,239 1,026 -17 1,389 1,085 -22 -150 -60
May 1,334 1,003 -25 1,434 1,086 -24 -100 -84
Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, May 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 1,003 100 -25 TOTAL 1,086 100 -24
EU-27 690 69 -25 EU-27 816 75 -27
Euro area 19 493 49 -27 Euro area 19 616 57 -24
Non-EU and United Kingdom 313 31 -24 Non-EU and United Kingdom 271 25 -14
1. Finland 175 17 -16 1. Finland 162 15 -11
2. Sweden 120 12 -16 2. Russia 108 10 -12
3. Latvia 96 10 -22 3. Latvia 103 9 -12
4. Germany 68 7 -20 4. Germany 103 9 -31
5. Lithuania 61 6 -20 5. Lithuania 95 9 -37
6. USA 56 6 -38 6. Sweden 80 7 -47
7. Russia 56 6 -29 7. Poland 72 7 -22
8. Norway 35 4 -40 8. Netherlands 54 5 -11
9. Netherlands 31 3 -52 9. China 53 5 8
10. Poland 31 3 -8 10. Italy 26 2 -29
Exports and imports by commodity section, May 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 1,003 100 -25 1,086 100 -24 -84
Agricultural products and food preparations (I–IV) 93 9 -15 118 11 -20 -26
Mineral products (V) 79 8 -57 149 14 -13 -70
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 56 6 -18 108 10 -17 -52
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 32 3 -21 65 6 -15 -33
Wood and articles of wood (IX) 122 12 -13 46 4 -7 77
Paper and articles thereof (X) 24 2 -13 19 2 -25 4
Textiles and textile articles (XI) 27 3 -23 43 4 -25 -16
Base metals and articles of base metal (XV) 86 9 -21 99 9 -29 -13
Mechanical appliances (84) 96 10 -23 112 10 -30 -16
Electrical equipment (85) 152 15 -22 132 12 -27 20
Transport equipment (XVII) 59 6 -34 82 8 -52 -23
Optical, measuring, precision instruments (XVIII) 48 5 14 33 3 -6 15
Miscellaneous manufactured articles (XX) 87 9 -31 28 3 -24 59
Other 43 3 0 52 4 -3 -10

Statistics Estonia performs the statistical activity “Foreign trade” for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with the aim to determine how exporting and importing enterprises are performing 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. Visualised data of Estonia’s foreign trade can be viewed in Statistics Estonia’s application.