Imports rose 20 percent on year to March, while exports were just behind at 19 percent growth, state agency Statistics Estonia reports. Increases in trade in electrical equipment, mineral products, timber and wood-based products and also transport-related items were the driving factors in the growth, the agency says.
Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that higher prices of materials, as well as increased volumes, had had a significant impact on trade growth.
She said: "The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew by as much as 28 percent, while re-exports stayed at the same level."
Export of goods totaled €1.5 billion and imports to €1.7 billion at current prices.
The trade deficit stood at €186 million, having increased by €35 million on year from March 2020.
Electrical equipment, mineral products (up by €61 million), and timber, wood and wooden items (increase of €49 million) saw the largest increases in exports on year to March, along with transport equipment (rose by €33 million), Statistics Estonia reports.
Finland was Estonia's main export partner over the period in question, followed by Sweden and Latvia.
Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and the U.S. as export partners saw the largest growth, meanwhile, while Sweden saw the largest fall, mainly due to a slump in consignments of communications equipment, the agency says. This was offset by a rise in exports of communications equipment to the U.S.
Barley and processed mineral oils grew most among exports to Saudi Arabia, with the latter – along with wood pellets – driving the growth in exports to the U.K.
Seventy-three percent of total exports of goods were of Estonian origin, with the remainder being re-exports. Exports of processed mineral oils, shale oil, motor fuel, barley, wood pellets, wood strips and coniferous cut timber of Estonian origin were the significant sectors, statistics Estonia says.
The main commodities imported to Estonia were mineral products, electrical equipment, transport equipment, and machinery and mechanical appliances, on year to March 2021.
The imports of mineral fuels increased the most (up by €82 million), followed by imports of electrical equipment (by €52 million), transport equipment (€51 million) and machinery and mechanical appliances (€42 million).
Finland, Germany and Latvia were the biggest import partners and also saw the largest growth during that period.
The main imports from Finland were motor fuels, from Germany, passenger vehicles and precious metals, and from Latvia, mineral oils for processing, Statistics Estonia says.
Editor: Andrew Whyte