2010 was successful for Estonian industry

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2010 the production of industrial enterprises grew 23% compared to the previous year. The growth of production was mainly influenced by the external demand, but the domestic demand also increased continually during the year.

2010 was the year of recovery from economic crisis in Estonia as well as in the European Union as a whole. In April 2009 the industrial production in the EU decreased to the lowest level of the crisis, declining by a fifth compared to the same month of the previous year. At the same time, the decline of production in Estonia exceeded 30%, and remained in such a decline till July 2009. The downfall trend was relatively abruptly replaced with a growth at the beginning of 2010. When Estonia was the country with the largest decrease in manufacturing production among the EU Member States in the middle of 2009, then in the 2nd quarter of 2010 Estonia became the country with the most rapid growth in production.

When in 2009 as a whole compared to the previous year, the production decreased in all branches of manufacturing, then in 2010, the production exceeded the volume of the previous year in most branches. The growth in the production of manufacturing was most influenced by the branches holding bigger shares – manufacturing of electronic products where the production increased by nearly two times, and manufacturing of wood where the production grew more than a quarter. With respect to the branches of manufacturing holding smaller shares, the production increased considerably in the manufacturing of motor vehicles, machinery and equipment, metals, paper, pharmaceutical and plastic products, mainly due to the increase in exports. More than two thirds of the whole production of manufacturing was sold on the external market. Export sales of the manufacturing production grew 41% compared to 2009. The demand on the domestic market was significantly lower – in 2010 the domestic sales did not change compared to the previous year. The rapid growth in production was partly also influenced by the low reference base in 2009.

In December 2010, the production of industry increased 39% compared to December of the previous year; the production of manufacturing grew 41%.

In December 2010 compared to November, the seasonally adjusted industrial production rose 1%; the production of manufacturing grew 2% during the month.

In December compared to December 2009, the production of electricity increased 70% and the production of heat 8%. The increase in energy production was mainly caused by a growing demand for energy induced by more active manufacturing as well as by the growth in the exports of electricity.

Volume index trends of production in manufacturing in the European Union,
January 2000 – December 2010 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Volume index trends of production in manufacturing in the European Union

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Sales increased in most economic activities

According to Statistics Estonia, in December 2010 compared to the same month of the previous year the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 5% at constant prices. Retail sales grew for the fourth month in succession.

The decrease in retail sales of retail trade enterprises that had lasted for almost two and a half years compared to the same month of the previous year, turned to 1% rise in September and October 2010. In November and December the growth in retail sales slightly accelerated, increasing by 5%. Summing up the year, the retail sales decreased by 4% in 2010 compared to the previous year.

In December, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 354 million euros (5.5 billion kroons). The increase in retail sales of goods was most influenced by the stores selling manufactured goods, where the retail sales increased by 11% compared to December 2009. The sales increased in most economic activities. Retail sales were the highest in other specialized stores, such as stores selling computers and their accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, etc. In these stores the retail sales increased 18% compared to December 2009. Stores selling textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods and non-specialized stores with industrial goods predominating were also successful, where the retail sales increased 15%. Stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials and retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics increased 8% compared to December 2009.

Retail sales in grocery stores have been rather stable during the recent months. In December compared to December 2009, the retail sales increased 1%. More modest growth in retail sales of these stores was influenced by the accelerated price increase of food products.

Compared to November 2009, in December the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased by a fifth at constant prices. This is a usual rise in December, when Christmas marketing takes place. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data the retail sales stayed at the same level compared to the previous month.

According to preliminary data the retail sales of retail trade enterprises were 3.5 billion euros (55.2 billion kroons) in 2010, compared to 2009 the retail sales decreased 4% at constant prices.

In December the revenues from sales of retail trade enterprises were 427 million euros (6.7 billion kroons), out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 83%. Compared to December 2009, the revenues from sales increased 15% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 17%.

Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend,
January 2002 – December 2010 (2005 = 100)

Diagram: Retail sales volume index of retail trade enterprises and its trend

Source: Statistics Estonia

The grain harvest was smaller than a year ago

According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, the cereal production was 670,000 tons in 2010, which was 23% less than in the previous year.

Of the total cereal production, 25,100 tons of rye, 324,400 tons of wheat and 252,500 tons of barley were produced. Compared to the previous year, the production of rye, wheat and barley decreased. The sown are of cereals comprised 275,100 hectares, the average yield per hectare was 2,435 kilograms of cereals, of which 1,993 kilograms of rye, 2,712 kilograms of wheat and 2,413 kilograms of barley.

The yield of rape and turnip rape seed was 129,600 tons, which was 5% less than in 2009. In 2010, rape and turnip rape were sown on 98,000 hectares. The average yield was 1,322 kilograms of rape and turnip rape seed per hectare.

The production of potatoes amounted to 153,700 tons, which was 10% more compared to the year earlier. In 2010, potatoes were sown on 9,100 hectares. The average yield of potatoes was 16,966 kilograms per hectare.

In autumn of 2010, 60,500 hectares of winter wheat, 11,900 hectares of rye and 6,900 hectares of triticale were sown for harvesting in 2011.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Milk production has increased

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, the number of dairy cows did not change significantly in 2010 compared to the previous year, but milk production per cow increased substantially.

Although the number of dairy cows has decreased since the nineties, the falling trend has decelerated during the last decade. At the same time the average milk production per cow has increased every year during the last eight years.

On 31 December 2010, the number of cattle in Estonia amounted to 236,200 (of which 95,700 dairy cows); there were 373,000 pigs, and 85,000 sheep and goats. Compared to the previous year, the number of cattle (incl. dairy cows) did not change significantly. At the same time the number of pigs increased by 2%; the number of sheep and goats by 6%.

In 2010, the agricultural producers of Estonia produced 675,700 tons of milk and 184.5 million eggs. 110,400 tons (live weight) of livestock and poultry were slaughtered in holdings or sold for slaughter to meat processing enterprises. Compared to the previous year, milk production remained at the same level, egg production increased by 6% and meat production (live weight) decreased by 2%.

In 2010, the average milk production per cow was 6,977 kilograms, i.e. 139 kilograms more than in 2009.

The livestock purchased by meat processing enterprises gave 8,600 tons of beef and 29,200 tons of pork. In 2009, the corresponding indicators were 9,100 tons and 28,100 tons.

Milk processing enterprises purchased 603,900 tons of milk, in 2009 — 612,300 tons. 277 euros were paid for a ton of purchased milk, in 2009 – 210 euros.

Milk production per cow, 1994–2010

Diagram: Milk production per cow, 1994–2010

Source: Statistics Estonia

Two offers in tender for operation of new container terminal at Muuga

The state-owned Estonian port company Port of Tallinn has received two offers in a tender for the right to operate a new container terminal in the eastern part of the port of Muuga just outside Tallinn. Spokesman Sven Ratassepp told BNS that the company has until the end January to examine the offers, and the partner with whom negotiations will be started would be chosen at the end of the month. The winner will be picked by the end of February.
In earlier communication the port company has named the Chinese as the best prospective partners in the project. Port of Tallinn has also been in contact with companies from Japan and Kazakhstan, as well as with the operator of Muuga Port’s existing container terminal AS Muuga CT, a subsidiary of AS Transiidikeskus.
In July the infrastructure for the additional container terminal with an annual capacity of 350 000 TEU was completed at Muuga for a cost of 64 million euros with the help of an EU subsidy.

Source: Estonian Review

Tallink makes profit in Q1

The listed Estonian shipper Tallink Grupp earned a net profit of 1.1 million euros in the first quarter of the financial year starting 1 September, compared with a loss of 1.2 million euros made in the same three months a year ago. The group’s unaudited consolidated revenue in the first quarter of the 2010/2011 financial year was 203 million euros, which is nearly 22 million euros or 12% more than in the first quarter of the previous financial year.
The management of Tallink Grupp said the result for the first quarter met its expectations. It said that several planned activities and structural changes between the routes influenced the earnings.
In the management’s opinion the 2010/2011 financial year has started off well and the group is on the right track to improve the results in the current financial year.
The number of passengers transported by the group’s vessels in the first quarter increased by 10% compared with the first quarter of the previous financial year to 1.99 million. The number of transported cargo units was up more than 12% at 76 908.
The noticeable increase in revenues resulted from increased passenger and cargo volumes. Tallink was able to increase passenger-related revenues, or revenues from ticket, shop and restaurants sales, by 17 million euros compared with the first quarter of the previous financial year. The rate of revenue increase per passenger was 1.6%.
Tallink noted that the volume and revenue growth were higher on the Estonia-Finland, Estonia-Sweden and Latvia-Sweden routes. On these routes the margins on onboard spending are not as high as on the Finland-Sweden routes, where volume growth in the first quarter was 2% and revenue growth 5%.
Investments by Tallink in the three-month period amounted to 3.6 million euros and were mainly related to the upgrading of the cruise ferries Romantika, Silja Festival, and Silja Serenade, which were in scheduled dry dock during the period.

Source: Estonian Review

The population of Estonia is 1,340,100

According to Statistics Estonia, by preliminary data, five births less than deaths were registered in Estonia in 2010. By preliminary estimation, the population of Estonia was 1,340,100 on 1 January 2010.

15,842 births, i.e. 79 births more than in 2009, were registered in 2010. 15,847 deaths were registered i.e. 234 deaths less than in the previous year. 5,091 marriages were contracted and 2,994 marriages ended in divorce which is correspondingly 271 and 194 less than a year ago.

The number of deaths has been rapidly decreasing during the last three years, life expectancy has quickly increased and the number of the elderly among the population has risen. Balance of natural increase has been achieved due to that. The number of births has been relatively stable for four years already – total fertility rate that shows the average number of children per woman at childbearing age is a bit higher than 1.6. This indicates that the current balance of natural increase does not ensure the persistence of Estonian population in a longer-term perspective. With a view to achieving the population reproduction level, the total fertility rate should be at least 2.1 or on average over 2 children per woman. To reach such a level, the number of births should continue growing.

Statistics Estonia will publish the revised preliminary population number on 25 April. After that, final estimation can be given on the natural increase of Estonia.

Natural increase is the difference between births and deaths during the year. Positive natural increase shows the predominance of births, and negative natural increase – the predominance of deaths. Only live births are taken into account as births in population registration. Therefore, the number of births published by Statistics Estonia differes from the number of birth entries published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs whereas the records of the latter also include stillbirths. Since 1991 the natural increase of Estonia has been negative.

In Estonia two population numbers are in use – one based on the data of Statistics Estonia and the other based on the Population Register. The population number published by Statistics Estonia is based on the 2000 Population and Housing Census data which is supplemented with the annual data on registered births and deaths. The Population Register data are based on the registration of a person’s place of residence. Internationally, the Census data are considered more accurate than the Register data, because people may have different reasons for alteration of data while registering their residence. At the same time, the quality of Statistics Estonia’s data is deteriorated by the long period of time since the last Census and by the fact that the population number does not include migration data. Thus, it is very important that the 2011 Population and Housing Census (PHC 2011) would be a success and we could switch to one population number after that.

PHC 2011 is going to take place from 31.12.2011 to 31.03.2012 and it will be conducted using a combined method: from 31.12.2011 to 31.01.2012 permanent residents can fill out the Census questionnaire over the Internet and those who do not use the e-Census option will be interviewed by the enumerator at home from 16.02 to 31.03.2012.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Estonia’s trade deficit 40 MEUR per month

According to Statistics Estonia, in November last year exports of goods from Estonia amounted to 861 million euros and imports to Estonia to 901 million euros at current prices. Exports to the euro area countries comprised 29% of Estonia’s total exports and imports from euro area 38% of total imports.

In November 2010 compared to November 2009, exports of goods grew by 48% and imports by 38% at current prices. Trade deficit decreased due to the bigger growth of exports compared to that of imports. Trade deficit was registered as 40 million euros. Estonia’s trade deficit with euro area countries amounted to 96 million euros.

The first place among Estonia’s export destination countries was held by Sweden (20% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by Finland (17%) and Russia (10%). Compared to November 2009, exports to Sweden increased more than twofold or by 97 million euros. Exports also increased significantly to Finland (31%) and Russia (47%). Electrical equipment and wood and products thereof were mainly exported to Sweden, electrical equipment and furniture to Finland, and mechanical equipment and beverages and alcohol to Russia.

The main countries from where goods were imported to Estonia in November were Finland (15% of Estonia’s total imports), Sweden and Germany (11% from each). Compared to November 2009, arrivals from Sweden increased the most (by 44 million euros). Arrivals from Russia and Finland also increased significantly. Electrical equipment and oil products were mainly imported from Finland, electrical and mechanical equipment from Germany, and electrical equipment and vehicles and parts thereof from Sweden.

In November, the biggest share in Estonia’s exports was held by the commodities of machinery and equipment (28% of Estonia’s total exports), mineral products (13%), and agricultural products and food preparations (10%). Exports of machinery and equipment increased more than twofold compared to November 2009. Exports of metals and products thereof and wood and products thereof also increased significantly (68% and 44%, respectively).

In November the biggest share in Estonia’s imports was also held by machinery and equipment (27% of Estonia’s total imports), mineral products (15%) and agricultural products and food preparations (10%). Arrivals of machinery and equipment increased by nearly twofold compared to November 2009. Imports of metals and products thereof also increased significantly (52%).

Estonia’s exports increased by 32% and imports 26% during the period of January–November compared to the same period in 2009.

Regarding the Baltic countries, in November last year exports grew by 29% in Latvia and 48% in Lithuania. Imports grew by 38% in Latvia and 50% in Lithuania.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Employers banned to read workers’ e-mails

The Estonian Data Protection Inspectorate has drawn up a privacy guideline that bans employers to read e-mails in the official e-mail boxes of their employees without prior agreement.

Viljar Peep, head of the agency, says that in Estonia employees are usually allowed to use company e-mail network for private communication, but employers who wish to monitor the communication must inform the employee of their activities.

Read more from BBN

Cargo handling increased at Estonian ports

A total of 34.5 million tons were loaded on ships and 11.3 million tons unloaded at Estonian ports in 2010.
According to Statistics Estonia 3.11 million tons of goods were loaded on ships in December 2010 and 1.11 million tons of goods were unloaded; loading increased by 17% and unloading by 28%.
Last November 23% more were loaded and 17% more goods were unloaded.
In 2008 28.1 million tons of goods were loaded on ships at Estonian ports and 8.06 million tons were unloaded; in 2007 the respective figures were 36.84 million tons and 8.02 million tons.

Source: Estonian Review

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