Estonia's imports of goods increased by 35 percent, while exports rose by around half that figure, at 18 percent, on year to February, state agency Statistics Estonia reports, with the growth in imports significantly influenced by electricity and mineral fuels.
Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the disparity led to the largest trade deficit ever.
Puura said: "The bigger trade deficit was primarily due to trade in mineral fuels, where the value of imports grew significantly while exports remained at last year's level."
"Increased prices also had an impact on trade in mineral fuels. Compared with 2021, export prices grew by 22 percent and import prices by 25 percent," she went on.
The trade deficit stood at €309 million, and grew by €238 million, compared with February 2021.
Exports of goods totaled €1.5 billion, and imports €1.8 billion, at current prices, in February, Statistics Estonia says.
Mineral fuels and electricity, timber and articles made of wood, were the major exports, along with electrical equipment.
Compared with February 2021, the largest increase occurred in the exports of wood and articles of wood (including. coniferous wood strips, planed timber boards), growing by €41 million.
The export of agricultural products and food preparations (including feed wheat) grew by €36 million, and the exports of miscellaneous manufactured articles (including prefabricated wooden buildings) by €34 million.
Finland (natural gas, engine parts), followed by Latvia (electricity) and Sweden (prefab buildings, communications equipment) were Estonia's main export partners while Latvia, Finland and Lithuania saw the largest rises in exports – growth in transport equipment to Lithuania was the main driver with that country.
Re-exports from Estonia rose by 32 percent on year to February 2022, Statistics Estonia says, while exports of domestic goods rose by 13 percent.
Goods of Estonian origin accounted for 71 percent of the total exports of goods, with the largest rises taking place in the exports of prefabricated wooden buildings and feed wheat.
The main commodities imported to Estonia were mineral fuels and electricity, electrical equipment, base metals and articles of base metal, machinery and mechanical appliances, and raw materials and products of chemical industry, Statistics Estonia says.
The imports of mineral fuels (including oils imported for processing and natural gas) and electricity increased the most (up by €110 million), followed by imports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (up by €62 million) and imports of base metals and articles of base metal (up by €54 million).
The top partner countries for Estonia's imports of goods were Finland, Lithuania and Russia. The biggest rise was also recorded in imports from these countries.
There were greater imports of electricity and gasoline from Finland, greater imports of nitrogen fertilizer and mineral fuels for processing from Russia, and increased imports of motor fuels from Lithuania.
Editor: Andrew Whyte