Statistics: April saw largest fall in foreign trade in 11 years ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Estonian border (picture is illustrative).
Estonian border (picture is illustrative). Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Imports fell on year to April 2020 by 22 percent, with exports from Estonia falling by 17 percent over the same period, Statistics Estonia reports. The larger fall in imports offset the balance of trade, the agency says.

Estonia's exports of goods amounted to €1.02 billion and imports to €1.09 billion at current prices, the agency says.

The trade deficit stood at €61 million, a fall of €89 million euros compared with April 2019.

Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said the decline was the highest since 2009.

"In April, trade decreased in most commodity sectors, but exports and imports increased for products associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as disinfection products and pharmaceuticals," she said.

Estonia's foreign trade by month, 2018-2020. Source: Statistics Estonia

Breakdown of exports

  • The year-on-year decline in exports came mainly from mineral products (down by €63 million), transport equipment (down by €47 million) and electrical equipment, which fell by €31 million.
  • Most significant exports were electrical equipment, wood and articles made from wood, and agricultural products and food preparations.
  • Most significant exports were electrical equipment, wood and articles made from wood, and agricultural products and food preparations.
  • The biggest falls were experienced in shale oil of Estonian origin, communication equipment and miscellaneous manufactured articles including bedding and similar furnishing.
  • Goods of Estonian origin accounted for 71 percent of the total exports of goods in April, though these fell by 18 percent.
  • Re-exports rose by 16 percent on year, in April.

Imports breakdown

  • The most significant commodities imported to Estonia were raw materials and chemical industry products, electrical equipment, agricultural products and food preparations, and mineral products.
  • The largest fall was seen in imports of transport equipment (down by €104 million), electrical equipment (a fall of €49 million) and mechanical appliances, which fell by €47 million.
  • Imports grew for raw materials and chemical industry products of (up by €18 million), mainly driven by pharmaceuticals and related to the coronavirus pandemic as noted.

More detailed information is here and here.

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Statistics Estonia is a government agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance, and provides public institutions, business and research circles, international organizations and individuals with reliable and objective information on the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation and trends in Estonia.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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