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Statistics: Estonia's November 2023 trade deficit almost half that of a year before

Port of Muuga, just east of Tallinn, a major hub for Estonian exports and imports.
Port of Muuga, just east of Tallinn, a major hub for Estonian exports and imports. Source: ERR

According to data provided by Statistics Estonia, in November 2023, goods exported from Estonia amounted to €1.5 billion, while imports totaled €1.7 billion. Compared to November 2022, exports of goods decreased by 12 percent and imports by 19 percent at current prices. Estonia's trade deficit in November 2023 was €200 million, which is €198 million less than a year earlier.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia said that Estonia's trade deficit in November 2023 was two times smaller than it had been in November 2022. "There was a large deficit in trade with European Union countries. However, trade with non-EU countries was in surplus – exports of goods to those countries exceeded imports in November," Leppmets said.

The main commodities exported from Estonia in November 2023 were electrical equipment (17 percent of Estonia's total exports), and agricultural products and food preparations (12 percent). The biggest fall was recorded in the exports of mineral products (including electricity) which decreased by €141 million.

"The exports of wood and articles of wood (including wood pellets) decreased by €35 million  and the exports of miscellaneous manufactured articles (including prefabricated wooden buildings) by €20 million. The exports of transport equipment and electrical equipment increased by €37 million and €21 million, respectively," said Leppmets.

She added that, in November, the share of goods of Estonian origin remained at the same level as the year before, accounting for 65 percent of total exports. When compared with November 2022, the exports of goods of Estonian origin decreased by 12 percent, as did total exports.

According to Leppmets, Estonia's top export partner in November was Finland (15 percent of Estonia's total exports), followed by Latvia (12 percent) and Sweden (9 percent). The main commodities exported were electrical equipment (including static converters) to Finland, mineral products (including electricity) to Latvia, and electrical equipment (including communication equipment) to Sweden.

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

"Compared to November 2022, the biggest falls were in exports to Finland (down €59 million), Latvia (down €47 million), and the Netherlands (down €39 million). On year, there was a decrease in exports of natural gas to Finland, electricity to Latvia, and shale oil to the Netherlands. The greatest increase occurred in exports to Singapore (up €30 million), where Estonia exported more mineral products (including shale oil) than last year," Leppmets said.

The main commodities imported in November were transport equipment (13 percent of Estonia's total imports), mineral products (12 percent), electrical equipment (12 percent), and agricultural products and food preparations (12 percent). The biggest fall was recorded in the imports of mineral products (including gas oils), which were down €233 million.

Electrical equipment imports (including phone parts) decreased by €58 million, while the import of mechanical appliances (including air conditioning machines) fell by €40 million. The import of raw materials and products of the chemical industry (including pharmaceuticals) was also down €40 million. The biggest increase was seen in the imports of transport equipment, which was up by €50 million.

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

According to Leppmets, the top partner country for Estonia's imports of goods in November was Finland (15 percent of Estonia's total imports), followed by Germany (12 percent) and Lithuania (12 percent).

 The main commodities imported were mineral products (including electricity) from Finland, transport equipment (including motor cars) from Germany, and mineral products (including gas oils) from Lithuania. The biggest fall occurred in imports of goods from Russia (down €116 million), Finland (down €84 million), and Latvia (down €46 million).

"There were decreased imports of gas oils from Russia, electricity from Finland, and natural gas from Latvia. Imports from Czechia grew by €13 million, as there were more arrivals of transport equipment, including motor cars, than the year before," explained Leppmets.

Estonia's main foreign trade partners. Source: Statistics Estonia

More detailed information is available here, here and here.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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