Estonia's trade deficit doubles on year to September

Shipping containers in port. Photo is illustrative.
Shipping containers in port. Photo is illustrative. Source: ERR

Estonian exports have been falling continually since fall 2021, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Wednesday, following the publication of data by state agency Statistics Estonia which reported the Estonian trade deficit doubled on year to September 2022.

At constant prices, Estonia's total exports fell by seven percent in September, whiel the export of goods actually produced in Estonia fell by as much as 19 percent, AK reported, part of an overall downturn which has made its effects known in other sectors.

Economist with SEB Pank Mihkel Nestor told AK that: "This is the current reality and we have to accept that. Economies have certainly been weakening in other countries as well, but what concerns us specifically is that the downturn has hit the real estate and construction market in the Nordic countries,"

"It appears that it is getting more and more difficult for Estonians to survive in this price competition. Demand is falling ... Most likely, the contraction will continue and, looking at what is happening in the Swedish real estate market, it will continue to do so for some time," Nestor went on.

The extent of the contraction also depends on the area which a company is operating in, and there are some examples of the trend being bucked, AK reported.

International energy and automation technology group ABB, one of Estonia's largest exporters and a company which has had to make lay-offs in recent months, has seen its input prices rise, which have been passed on to consumers, though it does operate in a sector (wind energy equipment) which is growing worldwide.

Board member Leho Kuusk told AK that: "If we are talking about our export volumes or production, since the direction is towards the green turn and sustainability, our volumes actually rose, due to this reason; in other words our export volume has risen over the past year."

As reported by ERR News, in September, exports stood at €1.9 billion at current prices, imports at €2.1 billion euros, making a trade deficit of €155 million, a rise of €92 million on September 2021.

At the same time, both exports and imports have risen, by 14 percent and by 19 percent respectively on year to the third quarter of this year, driven by the mineral products sector, and also by the overall rate of inflation.

Another trend has been for an increasing share of Estonia's foreign trade to consist of that with EU member states, which stood at 83 percent in September.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera, Statistics Estonia

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