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Statistics: Estonia's foreign trade deficit rises to €352 million

Man working with wood (photo is illustrative).
Man working with wood (photo is illustrative). Source: Juhan Hepner/ERR

According to Statistics Estonia, in November 2022, Estonia's exports of goods at current prices for November remained at the same level as a year before, while imports increased by 12 percent. The country's trade deficit now stands at €352 million, an increase of €220 million on year.

The latest data provided by Statistics Estonia shows, that Estonia's exports of goods at current prices amounted to €1.7 billion and imports to €2.1 billion in November 2022.

Between November 2021 and November 2022, the country's trade deficit rose by €220 million, reaching €352 million.

"Imports from EU countries increased by 21 percent, while imports from non-EU countries decreased by 14 percent. The decline was significantly influenced by the reduction of imported goods and raw materials from Russia and Belarus," said Evelin Puura, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia.

As a result, the proportion of imports from EU countries rose to 80 percent. "The situation is different for exports. In November, total exports remained at the same level as the previous year. This was a result of a decline in the export of goods of Estonian origin. However, (the decline) was offset by an increase in re-exports," Puura added.

Estonia's largest export partner in November 2022 was Finland (17 percent of total exports), followed by Latvia (13 percent) and Sweden (10 percent).

The main commodities exported to Finland November were natural gas, machinery parts, and unprocessed wood. Electricity, natural gas and automobiles were the commodities exported most to Latvia. Communication equipment and prefabricated wooden buildings were the products exported most to Sweden in November.

The biggest growth in exports to individual countries were to Latvia (up €41 million), Sweden (up €15 million), and Denmark (up €14 million). Compared with the same month in 2021, Estonia exported higher amounts of electricity, natural gas, and nitrogen fertilizer to Latvia.

More communication equipment, wood strips, and prefabricated wooden buildings were exported to Sweden, and larger amounts of fuel oil and legumes were sent to Denmark. Exports to the U.S. were down by €83 million in November, while those to Gibraltar also fell by €34 million. Meanwhile, exports to the U.K. and the Netherlands both dropped by €16 million the United Kingdom. Less communication equipment was exported to the U.S., while lower amounts of mineral fuels went to the other three countries.

Estonia's foreign trade by month 2022-2022. Source: Statistics Estonia

The main commodities exported in November were mineral fuels and electricity (for €260 million), electrical equipment (€231 million), and agricultural and food products (€194 million). Compared with November 2021, the biggest increase was seen in the export of agricultural and food products, transport equipment, and mechanical appliances. The biggest drop, however, was recorded in the export of base metals and articles of base metal, as well as wood and articles of wood.

Goods of Estonian origin accounted for 65 percent of the total goods exported. The amount of re-exported goods from Estonia increased by 20 percent compared with a year earlier, while exports of domestic goods decreased by 8 percent. The decline in share of domestic goods amongst Estonia's total exports for the month was a result of declining exports of mineral products, communication equipment, scrap metal, and sawn timber.

Estonia's top partner country for the import of goods was Finland, accounting for 17 percent total imports over the month. Finland was followed by Lithuania and Latvia (both on 11 percent). Compared with November 2021, the biggest rise in imports to Estonia from a single country was also Finland, with an increase of €65 million, followed by Latvia, which was up by €58 million, and Lithuania which rose €49 million.

Compared with a year before, Estonia saw higher amounts electricity and motor fuel imported from Finland, more natural gas from Latvia, and  an increase in motor fuels from Lithuania. Imports from Belarus were down by €52 million, the biggest decrease for a single country. This was followed by Russia, with imports falling by €48 million.

Estonia's foreign trade by month 2021-2022. Source: Statistics Estonia

The main commodities imported to Estonia in November were mineral products (for €445 million), electrical equipment (for €241 million), and agricultural and food products (for €205 million). The biggest areas of growth in imports in November were those involving mineral fuels and electricity, agricultural and food products, raw materials and products of the chemical industry.

Imports of wood and articles of wood, along with articles of plastics and rubber also decreased.

More detailed information is available here.  

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Editor: Michael Cole

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