According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Monday morning, in 2018, the exports of goods increased by 12% and imports by 10% compared to 2017. The exports and imports of mineral products had the greatest impact on trade growth in 2018.
In 2018, the exports of goods from Estonia amounted to €14.4 billion and imports to Estonia to €16.2 billion at current prices. The trade deficit in 2018 totalled €1.8 billion euros, down €69 million on year.
The largest surplus was in the trade in wood and articles of wood and miscellaneous manufactured articles (including furniture, prefabricated wood buildings); the largest deficit was registered in the trade in transport equipment and in raw materials and products of the chemical industry.
In 2018, EU countries accounted for 68% of Estonia's total exports and 78% of its total imports. The trade deficit with other EU countries totalled €2.8 billion, down €55 million on year. Exports increased by 6% and imports by 4% in trade with EU countries. Trade in goods with non-EU countries grew even more — exports increased by 27% and imports by 37%. The trade surplus with non-EU countries was over €1 billion.
As in previous years, in 2018, electrical equipment was exported the most, accounting for 16% of Estonia's total exports. Next came mineral products (15%) and wood and articles of wood (11%). The increase in exports was mostly affected by a rise in the exports of mineral products (up by €900 million), wood and articles of wood (up by €152 million) and mechanical appliances (up by €131 million). The biggest decrease in 2018 was recorded in the exports of agricultural products and food preparations.
The top destination countries of Estonia's exports in 2018 were Finland (16% of Estonia's total exports of goods), Sweden (11%) and Latvia (10%). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; electrical equipment and wood and articles of wood were the main commodities exported to Sweden; mineral products, and agricultural products and food preparations were the main commodities exported to Latvia. The biggest increase occurred in exports to the US, Singapore and Finland, while the biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden, the Netherlands and Russia.
The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports of goods was 72% in 2018. Compared to 2017, the exports of goods of Estonian origin increased by 12% and re-exports by 11%. In the exports of goods of Estonian origin, the greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (including shale oil, solvent), wood and articles of wood (birch and pine pulpwood) and electrical equipment (data communication equipment). The main destination countries of goods of Estonian origin were Finland, Sweden and Germany. The biggest increase in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was in the exports to the US and Singapore, and the biggest decrease in the exports to Sweden.
The main commodities imported to Estonia were mineral products (15% of Estonia's total imports of goods), electrical equipment (14%) and mechanical appliances, transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations (10% each). The greatest increase was in the imports of mineral products (up by €1 billion), mechanical appliances (up by €208 million) and base metals and articles of base metal (up by €168 million).
The main countries of consignment in 2018 were Finland (13% of Estonia's total imports of goods), Germany and Lithuania (10% each). From Finland, mineral products, and electrical equipment were imported the most. Transport equipment and mechanical appliances were imported the most from Germany, and mineral products and agricultural products and food preparations from Lithuania. The biggest year-on-year increase occurred in imports from Russia (up by €484 million), Belarus (up by €342 million) and Lithuania (up by €187 million), with the largest increase in the imports of mineral products. At the same time, imports decreased the most from Poland and the Netherlands.
Estonia exported goods to 183 countries and imported goods from 143 countries. A positive foreign trade balance was recorded in the case of 139 countries. The biggest surplus was recorded in trade with the US, followed by Norway and Singapore. The biggest deficit was recorded in trade with Germany, Lithuania and Poland.
In December 2018, exports of goods from Estonia amounted to €1.1 billion and imports to Estonia to €1.3 billion, increasing 6% and 7%, respectively. In December 2018, the growth in exports and imports was affected the most by increase in the trade of mineral products.
Editor: Aili Vahtla