In the first quarter of 2023, Estonia's services exports increased by 15 percent and imports by 11 percent on year at current prices, Statistics Estonia and the Bank of Estonia said Tuesday.
Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that in the first quarter of 2023, sales of services to non-residents totaled €2.7 billion and purchases of services from non-residents amounted to €2.1 billion, according to a press release.
"The balance of foreign trade in services was in surplus by €558 million," said Leppmets. "The surplus was €125 million bigger than in the same quarter last year."
During the first three months of the year, the most exported services were other business services — including other business support services — worth €810 million. This was followed by exports of transport services — including road freight transport — for €654 million, and exports of telecommunications, computer and information services — including computer programming and consultancy — for €586 million.
On year, the quarter's biggest increase occurred in the exports of other business services, travel services, and telecommunications, computer and information services. Only the exports of maintenance and repair services decreased on year.
Finland was the top partner country for exports of services in the first quarter, with travel services being the biggest export item. Finland was followed by Sweden, with transport services accounting for the primary type of services supplied, and Latvia, where Estonian businesses exported primarily other business services.
The biggest increase also occurred in exports to these three countries — with exports to Finland up by €76 million, to Latvia by €38 million and to Sweden by €34 million. On year, there were more travel services supplied to Finland, greater exports of other business services to Latvia and bigger exports of transport services to Sweden.
The biggest fall, meanwhile, was registered in exports of services to Russia — down by €52 million, and Switzerland — down by €23 million. The supply of transport services to these countries fell on year.
Primary services imported to Estonia in the first quarter of 2023 were other business services — including other business support services — for €650 million. This was followed by imports of transport services — including sea freight transport — for €608 million, and imports of telecommunications, computer and information services — including computer programming and consultancy — for €398 million.
Compared with the first quarter of 2022, the biggest rise occurred in the purchases of telecommunications, computer and information services, other business services, and travel services from non-residents. A decrease was only registered in the imports of transport services.
As in exports, the top partner country for imports of services in the first quarter was Finland, which primarily supplied transport services to Estonia. Finland was followed by Germany, which also mainly sold transport services to Estonia, and Ireland, from which other business services led in imports.
The biggest increase was recorded in the imports of services from Ireland — up by €42 million, Lithuania — up by €41 million, and Latvia — up by €24 million.
On year, there were greater imports of other business services from Ireland, more purchases of telecommunications, computer and information services from Lithuania as well as more imports of travel services from Latvia.
The biggest decline, meanwhile, occurred in imports of services from Russia — down by €31 million, the U.K. — down by €15 million, and Belarus — down by €11 million. Compared with the first quarter of 2022, there were lower imports of transport services from Russia and Belarus, and fewer purchases of other business services from the U.K.
Editor: Aili Vahtla