According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Friday morning, the exports of goods increased by eight and imports by nine percent on year in 2017, with exports totaling €12.8 billion and imports to Estonia €14.7 billion at current prices.
The trade deficit in 2017 was €1.9 billion, up €315 million from the previous year. The increase in the trade deficit was affected the most by the imports of transport equipment, including ships. The largest surplus was in the trade in wood and articles of wood as well as miscellaneous manufactured articles, including furniture; the largest deficit was registered in the trade in transport equipment and the raw materials and products of the chemical industry.
In 2017, the share of EU countries in Estonia's total exports was 71 percent and in total imports 82 percent. The trade deficit with other EU member states totaled €3 billion, up €610 million from 2016. In trade with EU countries, exports increased by four and imports by nine percent. Trade in goods with non-EU countries grew more — with exports increasing by 18 and imports by 11 percent.
As in previous years, electrical equipment was exported the most, accounting for 17 percent of Estonia's total exports in 2017, followed by wood and articles of wood accounting for 11 and mineral products ten percent of exports. The increase in exports was affected mostly by an increase in the exports of mineral products, including fuel, base metals and articles of base metal, including metal waste, and wood and articles of wood, including sawn timber. The biggest decrease last year was recorded in the exports of electrical equipment.
The top destination country of Estonia's exports in 2017 was Finland, accounting for 16 percent of the country's total, followed by Sweden (14 percent) and Latvia (nine percent). The biggest increase occurred in exports to Finland, followed by Russia and Germany; exports to Sweden, Mexico and Nigeria, meanwhile, decreased the most.
The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72 percent in 2017. In the exports of goods of Estonian origin, the largest increase was recorded in the exports of mineral products, base metals and articles of base metal, and wood and articles of wood. The exports of electrical equipment, however, dropped significantly. The top destination countries of goods of Estonian origin are Finland, Sweden and Germany. The biggest increase in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was in the exports to Germany and Finland, while the biggest decrease in the exports to Sweden and Mexico.
In 2017, the main commodity imported to Estonia was electrical equipment; its share amounted to 15 percent of Estonia's total imports. This was followed by transport equipment (13 percent), agricultural products and food preparations (ten percent), mechanical appliances and mineral products (ten percent). In a year, the imports of transport equipment, including ships and cars, and mineral products, including fuel, increased the most. The imports of electrical equipment decreased.
The top countries of consignment in 2017 were Finland (14 percent of Estonia's total imports), Germany (11 percent), and Lithuania (nine percent). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Finland, followed by Russia and Sweden. The largest decrease was registered in imports from Hungary, the U.S. and Canada.
Estonia exported goods to 180 countries and imported goods from 133 countries. A positive foreign trade balance was recorded in the case of 130 countries. The biggest surpluses was recorded in trade with Sweden, followed by Norway and the USA. The biggest deficits were recorded in trade with Poland, Germany and Lithuania.
In December 2017, exports of goods from Estonia totaled €1 billion and imports to Estonia €1.2 billion. Compared to December 2016, exports increased three percent and imports four percent. In December 2017, the growth in exports was affected the most by the exports of cereals, and the growth in fuel imports.
Last December, the foreign trade export volume index increased by two percent and the import volume index by 11 percent compared to the same month in 2016.
Editor: Aili Vahtla