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Imports from Russia at record level this year

Oil tankers at Tartu Railway Station.
Oil tankers at Tartu Railway Station. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Imports from the Russian Federation reached a new record this year at €1.75 billion. Exports to Russia have been declining for some years, however.

Petroleum oil and other fuels made up the bulk of imports, totaling close to €900 million, with metals and metal products totaling €150 million next, followed by fertilizers, whose imports were worth €80 million.

Chief economist at Swedbank Tõnu Mertsina said that increased demand for oil and related products, and its worldwide rise in prices, were behind the record level.

He said: "In November, import prices of oil products have risen by as much as 90 percent year-on-year."

"Imports of specific oil products from Russia have risen by as much as 166 percent in ten months. This has raised Russia's share of imports to a much higher level. "The last time the share of imports from Russia was higher was fifteen years ago," Mertsina went on.

The previous record figure for imports was set three years ago and stood at €1.5 billion.

Exports from Estonia to Russia have been falling over the past three years, however, from a high of €1.5 billion in 2012.

This year, exports totaled €624 million in the first 10 months of the year, compared with €799 million at this time last year.

Statistics Estonia chief analyst Evelin Puura said that exports had been affected partly by Brexit, while the shortfall has been made up by exports from other EU states, to Russia. Longer-term, sanctions since the 2014 occupation of the Crimea were behind the slow-down also, she said. "Sanctions were imposed in 2014, which led to a complete slowdown in agricultural exports to Russia. Looking at the things we currently export to Russia, various mechanical machines, electrical equipment and products related to the chemical industry are exported the most."

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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