Statistics Estonia reports that in March 2023, Estonia's exports and imports of goods decreased by 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively, compared with March 2022. In the first quarter as a whole, both exports and imports of goods fell by 8 percent.
In March, Estonia's goods exports totaled €1.7 billion, while imports totaled €1.9 billion at current prices. The trade imbalance was €206 million, up €20 million from the previous year.
Estonian exports totaled €4.7 billion, while imports totaled €5.3 billion in the first quarter. The trade deficit was €577 million in the first quarter of 2022, which is €23 million less than the first quarter of 2022.
Although export and import prices grew by 9 percent and 5 percent year on year in March, respectively, there was nevertheless a reduction in exports and imports in March, as well as in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same time in 2022, Jane Leppmets, an analyst at Statistics Estonia, said.
"The indicators for March and the first quarter were strongly influenced by lower trade in mineral fuels, base metals and base metal items, and wood and wood articles. There was an especially drastic decline in the imports of mineral fuels from Russia," Leppmets added.
In March, the main commodities shipped were electrical equipment, wood and wood products and mechanical appliances. The biggest drop was in mineral product exports, down by €264 million.
Base metals and base metal goods exports fell by €36 million, while raw materials and chemical industry exports fell by €18 million.
The biggest increase occurred in the exports of transport equipment, up by €44 million; mechanical appliances, up by €38 million; and agricultural products and food preparations, up by €11 million.
Year on year, the share of Estonian-origin goods in exports remained stable at 66 percent of overall exports in March 2023.
Finland was Estonia's main export partner, 17 percent of total exports, followed by Latvia with 11 percent, and Sweden with 10 percent.
Electrical equipment was the most commonly exported commodity to Finland, mineral goods, including electricity, to Latvia, and electrical equipment to Sweden. Exports to the United States, Latvia and Egypt experienced the greatest fall.
There were less deployments of communication equipment to the United States, fewer dispatches of power to Latvia and fewer dispatches of fuel oils to Egypt.
Exports to Finland, Lithuania and Russia increased. Natural gas shipments to Finland grew, as did vehicle dispatches to Lithuania and food preparations exports to Russia.
The main commodities imported to Estonia in March were electrical equipment, transport equipment, mechanical appliances and agricultural products and food preparations.
Similarly to exports, the biggest decrease occurred in the imports of mineral products which were down by €180 million. The imports of base metals and articles of base metal decreased by €49 million and the imports of wood and articles of wood by €38 million euros.
The biggest increases were recorded in the imports of transport equipment, up by €54 million euros; electrical equipment, up by 23 million euros; and agricultural products and food preparations, up by €10 million.
The top partner countries for Estonia's imports of goods were Finland with 14 percent of Estonia's total imports, Germany with 12 percent and Latvia with 11 percent.
The main commodities imported were mineral products, such as electricity, from Finland, transport equipment from Germany and mineral products, such as natural gas, from Latvia.
The imports from Russia, Finland, and Lithuania declined the most. In March, less mineral oils were imported from Russia, less electricity was imported from Finland, and less fuel were imported from Lithuania.
There was a rise in imports from Latvia, Czechia and the Netherlands. Year on year, there were bigger imports of natural gas from Latvia, greater imports of cars from Czechia and increased exports of various electrical equipment from the Netherlands.
Editor: Kristina Kersa