According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Friday, the export of goods increased by 8 percent and imports by 5 percent on year in March 2019. This trade growth is attributable to increased exports and imports alike with other EU countries.
This March, exports from Estonia amounted to €1.2 billion and imports to €1.4 billion at current prices. The trade deficit stood at €177 million, or down €22 million on year.
This March, exports to EU member states increased by €104 million and imports by €71 million. The EU accounted for 72 percent of total exports and 80 percent of imports. Member states' share was previously this large in November 2017, and the share of imports in May 2018.
In March, the top destination countries of Estonia's exports were Finland (16 percent of Estonia's total exports), Sweden (10 percent) and Latvia (9 percent). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; miscellaneous manufactured articles, and wood and articles of wood to Sweden; transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations to Latvia.
The biggest increases occurred in exports to the U.S. (up by €50 million), Denmark (up by €25 million) and Belgium (up by €20 million). In exports to the U.S., the increase was largest in the exports of data communication equipment; to Denmark and Belgium, in the exports of mineral products. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Singapore (down by €19 million), where less mineral products were dispatched.
The biggest share in exports of goods was held by electrical equipment (15 percent of Estonia's total exports), followed by mineral products, and wood and articles of wood (12 percent each). The biggest increase was in the exports of base metals and articles of base metal (up by €22 million), and agricultural products and food preparations (up by €13 million). The biggest decrease occurred in exports of electrical equipment (down by €7 million).
The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72 percent in March. The exports of goods of Estonian origin grew by 8 percent and re-exports by 7 percent compared to March last year. In the exports of goods of Estonian origin, the biggest growth was in the exports of mineral products (shale spirit, aviation spirit, shale oil), miscellaneous manufactured articles (prefabricated wood buildings, furniture), base metals and articles of base metal (metal waste, metal structures).
In March, the primary countries of consignment were Finland (13 percent of Estonia's total imports), Germany and Sweden (11 percent each) and Latvia (10 percent). Mineral products and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities imported from Finland; from Germany, mechanical appliances and transport equipment; and from Sweden, transport equipment and electrical equipment. Imports increased the most from Finland (up by €29 million), Latvia (up by €20 million) and Sweden (up by €18 million). Imports of mineral products increased the most from Finland and Latvia, while imports of transport equipment increased the most from Sweden. Imports decreased the most, meanwhile, from Belarus (down by €28 million), due primarily to decreased imports of mineral products.
The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment (13 percent of Estonia's total imports), mineral products and transport equipment (12 percent each), and mechanical appliances (11 percent). The biggest increase was in the imports of base metals and articles of base metal (up by €20 million) and the biggest decrease in the imports of mineral products (down by €18 million).
In March 2019, compared to March 2018, the foreign trade export volume index decreased by 1 percent and the import volume index increased by 3 percent.
First quarter exports, imports up
In the first quarter of 2019, exports from Estonia amounted to €3.6 billion and imports to Estonia to €3.9 billion. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, exports increased by 8 percent and imports by 4 percent. The trade deficit in the first quarter was €392 million, down from €500 million in the first quarter of 2017.
In the first quarter of 2019, on-year growth in exports was supported by increased exports of wood and articles of wood (up by €44 million), base metals and articles of base metal (up by €30 million) and mechanical appliances (up by €28 million). In the comparison by countries, exports have increased the most to the U.S., Denmark, Latvia and Finland.
In the first quarter, the growth in imports was affected the most by an increase in the imports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (up by €41 million), base metals and articles of base metal (up by €28 million), and agricultural products and food preparations (up by €18 million). By country, imports in the first quarter of 2019 grew the most on year from Lithuania, Sweden and Russia, while imports from Belarus decreased the most
Editor: Aili Vahtla