According to a Wednesday press release by Statistics Estonia, the export of goods increased by 15 and imports by 12 percent compared to March 2016, while first-quarter exports were up 12 and imports 17 percent on year.
In March 2017, exports from Estonia totaled €1.2 billion and imports to Estonia €1.3 billion at current prices. The trade deficit decreased on year from €153 million in March 2016 to €138 million.
The top destination countries of Estonia's exports in March were Finland (accounting for 16 percent of Estonia's exports), Sweden (14 percent) and Latvia (8 percent). The biggest increase occurred in exports to the Netherlands (up by €30 million), Finland (up by €28 million) and the U.S. (up by €16 million). These increases were mainly due to increased exports of mineral products to the Netherlands and U.S. and of electricity and electrical equipment to Finland. Exports to Sweden decreased the most.
The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and articles of wood and mineral products. The greatest growth was recorded in the exports of mineral products (up by €62 million), wood and articles of wood (up by €26 million), base metals and articles of base metal (up by €20 million) and agricultural products and food preparations (up by €17 million). A decrease on year was recorded in the exports of electrical equipment (down by €21 million).
Goods of Estonian origin account for 3/4 of exports
The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 74 percent, with the export of such goods growing 17 percent on year in March 2017; re-exports, meanwhile, increased 11 percent. The increase in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by an increase in the exports of mineral products (including shale oil and electricity), wood and articles of wood (including softwood saw-timber and wood pellets) and base metals and articles of base metal (including metal structures, metal waste).
The primary countries of consignment in March 2017 were Finland (14 percent of Estonia's total imports), Germany (12 percent), Sweden (9 percent) and Latvia (9 percent). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Sweden (up by €29 million), Russia (€25 million) and Germany (€22 million), while imports from Hungary decreased the most.
In March of this year, the main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, mechanical appliances and transport equipment. The biggest increase was recorded in the imports of raw materials and products of the chemical industry (including nitrogenous fertilizers), while the biggest decrease occurred in the imports of electrical equipment.
In March 2017, the foreign trade export volume index decreased by five percent and the import volume index increased by 13 percent compared to the same month last year.
In the first quarter of 2017, exports from Estonia totaled €3.1 billion and imports €3.8 billion. The trade deficit in the first quarter was €647 million, up from €448 million in the first quarter of last year.
During the first quarter, the big growth in exports compared to the same period of the previous year was supported by increased exports of mineral products (up by €136 million), wood and articles of wood (up by €57 million) as well as base metals and articles of base metal (up by €57 million), which also compensated for the big decline in the exports of electrical equipment (down by €68 million). In comparison by country, exports have increased the most to the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and China, while exports to Sweden have decreased the most.
In the first quarter, the growth in imports was affected the most by an increase in the imports of transport equipment (up by €291 million), mineral products (up by €92 million) and raw materials and products of the chemical industry (up by €51 million), while the imports of electrical equipment decreased significantly (down by €58 million). By country, imports in the first quarter of 2017 grew the most on year from Finland, Russia and Lithuania, while imports from Hungary decreased the most.
Editor: Aili Vahtla