Exports of goods recovered from the spring coronavirus pandemic and remained at approximately the same level in June 2020 that they had been in June 2019, according to state agency Statistics Estonia, though imports fell by 8 percent. Wood and metal industries were the main driver for the recovery, the agency says.
When taken as a whole for the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), exports fell by 15 percent on year, however. Imports fell 18 percent over the same period.
Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said: "The main contributors to the recovery of exports were wood and metal industries. In the Q2 2020 as a whole, the main impact on trade came from decreased exports and imports of transport equipment and mineral products. By country, exports decreased the most to the Netherlands and the U.S., and imports dropped the most from Sweden and Lithuania."
Exports and imports both stood at €1.2 billion at current prices in June 2020. Trade deficit fell by €97 million to €11 million between June 2019 and June 2020.
Top export destinations were Finland, Sweden and Latvia, with Australia and Saudi Arabia seeing the highest growth (€41 million and €22 million respectively), principally driven by mineral product exports including fuel and oil.
Exports fell most to the U.S. (€42 million fall, mostly of electrical equipment) and Denmark (€34 million, primarily of shale oil), the agency says.
Electrical equipment, mineral products and timber and wooden products were the largest component of exports; timber, wood and articles of wood, along with metals and metal products, rose by €10 million, Statistics Estonia says.
Transport equipment saw the largest fall, of €30 million, June 2019-June 2020.
Goods of Estonian origin made up 71 percent of total exports, though these fell by 2 percent, primarily with Estonian-made fuels. Re-exports rose by 3 percent over the same period.
Imports fell most from Sweden (€37 million decline, especially electrical and transport equipment) and Lithuania (down €34 million, primarily with mineral products).
Imports from China saw the biggest growth at €19 million, driven by consignments of personal protective equipment (PPE) necessitated by the virus, as well as by electrical goods.
The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, agricultural products and food preparations, mineral products and mechanical appliances. The biggest fall occurred in the imports of mineral products and transport equipment, with the largest rise seen in the imports of precious metals, Statistics Estonia says.
Editor: Andrew Whyte