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Statistics: Foreign trade decreased significantly in 2023

Estonia's export in 2023 visualization.
Estonia's export in 2023 visualization. Source: Statistics Estonia

Statistics Estonia reports that exports of goods in 2023 decreased by 16 percent and imports by 17 percent compared with the year before. Exports of goods amounted to €18 billion and imports to €21 billion at current prices. The trade deficit was €3 million, which is €695 million lower than in 2022.

Jane Leppmets, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that Estonia's main trading partners in 2023 were the member states of the European Union, accounting for 74 percent of exports and 86 percent of imports.

"Exports and imports to and from EU member states decreased by 12 percent and 10 percent respectively in 2023, whereas exports to and imports from non-EU countries fell by 26 percent and 43 percent, respectively. Imports of goods from Russia decreased by as much as 92 percent," she said.

Foreign trade data. Source: Statistics Estonia

Leppmets also pointed out that the largest trade deficit was recorded in the trade of transport equipment, raw materials and products of chemical industry, and mineral products. "The largest surplus was seen in the trade of wood and articles of wood and miscellaneous manufactured articles," Leppmets said.

The main exported goods in 2023 were electrical equipment, with 14 percent of Estonia's total exports; agricultural products and food preparations, with 11 percent; wood and wood products, with 11 percent. The largest decreases were observed in exports of mineral products, down by €2.6 billion; wood and wood products, down by €406 million; miscellaneous manufactured goods, down by €221 million. Exports of transportation equipment increased the most, by €425 million.

Foreign trade data visualization. Source: Statistics Estonia

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports in 2023 remained unchanged from a year earlier, standing at 64 percent. Year on year, Estonia's total exports decreased by 16 percent, re-exports by 15 percent, and exports of goods of Estonian origin by 17 percent. The fall in exports of goods of Estonian origin was mainly due to a decrease in exports of processed oil, shale oil, and communication equipment.

Estonia's main export partners in 2023 were Finland with 17 percent of Estonia's total exports, Latvia with 12 percent, and Sweden with 9 percent. The main exported goods were electrical equipment, base metals and articles of base metal, and mineral products to Finland, mineral products, transportation equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations to Latvia, and electrical equipment, wood and articles of wood, and miscellaneous manufactured articles to Sweden.

Foreign trade data visualization. Source: Statistics Estonia

Year on year, the biggest decline was registered in exports of goods to Finland, down by €672 million, Latvia by €662 million, and the United States by €657 million. There were decreased exports of natural gas to Finland, electricity to Latvia, and communication equipment to the US. The greatest increase occurred in exports to Lithuania, up by €189 million, where more transport equipment was exported.

The main commodities imported in 2023 were electrical equipment, 13 percent of Estonia's total imports, transport equipment, with 13 percnet, mineral products, with 12 percent, and agricultural products and food preparations, with 12 percent.

The biggest decreases were recorded in the imports of mineral products, down by €2.8 billion, base metals and articles of base metal, down by €480 million, and wood and articles of wood, down by €368 million. Imports of transport equipment increased the most, by €203 million.

Foreign trade data visualization. Source: Statistics Estonia

The top partner countries for Estonia's imports of goods were Finland, 15 percent of Estonia's total imports, followed by Germany, with 12 percent, and Latvia, with 11 percent. The main commodities imported were mineral products, electrical equipment, and base metals and articles of base metal from Finland, transport equipment, mechanical appliances, and electrical equipment from Germany, and mineral products, agricultural products and food preparations, and electrical equipment from Latvia.

The biggest fall compared with 2022 occurred in imports of goods from Russia, down by €1.7 million, followed by Finland, down by €916 million, and Latvia, down by €537 million. There were fewer imports of processed oils from Russia, electricity from Finland, and natural gas from Latvia. Imports of goods from Czechia increased the most, by €113 million. More transport equipment was imported from there than before.

Foreign trade data visualization. Source: Statistics Estonia

Last December, exports of goods fell by 23 percent and imports by 29 percent. Exports of goods amounted to €1.3 billion and imports to €1.6 billion at current prices. The trade deficit in December was €282 million, which is €264 million less than a year earlier. The main commodities exported in December were electrical equipment, agricultural products and food preparations, and wood and articles of wood.

The main commodities imported were transport equipment, agricultural products and food preparations, and electrical equipment. In December, the biggest exports of goods were to Finland, Latvia, and Sweden, while the largest imports came from Finland, Lithuania, Germany and Latvia.

Foreign trade data. Source: Statistics Estonia

Statistics Estonia's foreign trade application provides visualized foreign trade data for Estonia.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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