Exports and imports decreased by one fifth

According to Statistics Estonia, in November 2008 compared to November 2007, both exports and imports of goods decreased by one fifth at current prices. Imports of goods were last on such a low level at the beginning of 2006.

The value of exports of goods was 9.6 billion kroons, compared to November 2007 exports decreased by 2.2 billion kroons or 19%. Such a decline in exports was mainly caused by the nominal (not taking into account the change of prices) decrease in the exports of mineral products (incl. fuels) and transport equipment.

The value of imports of goods was 12.7 billion kroons, compared to November 2007 imports decreased by 3.2 billion kroons. The 20%-decline in imports was caused by the decrease of demand in internal market in all commodity sections besides raw materials and products of chemical industry.

Estonian foreign trade deficit was 3.1 billion kroons in November, and it decreased by 1 billion croons compared to November 2007.

Estonian foreign trade, January–November, 2007–2008

Month Exports,
million kroons
Imports,
million kroons
Balance,
million kroons
2007 2008 change, % 2007 2008 change, % 2007 2008
January 9 722 10 110 4 13 956 13 540 -3 -4 234 -3 430
February 9 768 10 447 7 13 302 13 628 2 -3 534 -3 181
March 10 464 10 602 1 15 511 14 150 -9 -5 047 -3 548
April 10 396 12 266 18 15 648 15 880 1 -5 252 -3 614
May 11 706 11 493 -2 16 157 14 437 -11 -4 451 -2 944
June 10 825 10 782 0 15 078 14 087 -7 -4 253 -3 305
July 9 889 10 892 10 14 066 15 056 7 -4 177 -4 164
August 10 290 11 036 7 14 656 13 416 -8 -4 366 -2 380
September 9 843 12 210 24 14 570 15 488 6 -4 727 -3 278
October 11 768 13 212 12 16 163 15 791 -2 -4 395 -2 579
November 11 814 9 598 -19 15 898 12 677 -20 -4 084 -3 079

In November 2008 the share of the EU countries was 70% and the share of the CIS countries accounted for 16% of the total exports (in November of the previous year 71% and 13%, respectively). Main countries of destination were Finland, Sweden and Russia. The exports to the EU countries decreased significantly — by 1.6 billion kroons. Exports of goods to the CIS countries increased by 3%.

In total imports of goods, the share of the EU countries was 74% and that of the CIS countries 16% (in November of the previous year 80% and 12%, respectively). Imports from EU countries decreased by 3.3 billion kroons. Main countries of consignment were Finland, Russia and Germany. Imports of goods from Germany, Sweden and Finland decreased significantly. As imports from Russia slightly decreased, then imports from Belarus increased by 41%.

In both exports and imports, the most important commodity section in November was machinery and equipment, which accounted for about a quarter of both flows. Compared to November 2007, the decrease in exports was mainly caused by the decline in exports of mineral products (incl. fuels), of transport equipment and of wood and products thereof. The decrease was also mentioned in exports in the section of metals and products thereof.

The significant decline in imports of goods was caused by the decrease in imports of transport equipment and machinery and equipment (by 1.3 and 0.6 billion croons, respectively), which was also influenced by the decrease of demand in the internal market. Only imports and exports of raw materials and products of chemical industry increased compared to the previous year, in remaining commodity chapters the values of both flows decreased.

Main foreign trade partners of Estonia, November 2008

Country of destination,
group of
countries
Exports,
million
kroons
Share,
%
Change
comp.
same month
prev.year,
%
Country of consign.,
group of
countries
Imports,
million
kroons
Share,
%
Change
comp.
same month .
prev. year,
%
TOTAL 9 598 100 -19 TOTAL 12 677 100 -20
EU 6 737 70 -19 EU 9 393 74 -26
CIS 1 537 16 3 CIS 2 005 16 4
1. Finland 1 919 20 -11 1. Finland 1 696 13 -27
2. Sweden 1 391 15 -14 2. Russia 1 358 11 -2
3. Russia 1 251 13 4 3. Germany 1 301 10 -36
4. Latvia 830 9 -36 4. Latvia 1 238 10 -7
5. Lithuania 596 6 -21 5. Sweden 1 200 10 -37
6. USA 510 5 168 6. Lithuania 997 8 -4
7. Germany 479 5 -20 7. Poland 558 4 -18
8. Norway 352 4 -12 8. Belorus 454 4 41
9. Denmark 343 4 0 9. Netherlands 381 3 -29
10. Netherlands 239 3 -30 10. Great Britain 371 3 -39

Exports and imports of goods by commodity sections, November 2008

Commodity section by Combined Nomenclature (CN) Exports Imports Balance,
million
kroons
million kroons share,
%
comp.
same month
prev.y
%
million kroons share,
%
comp.
same month prev.year

%

TOTAL 9 598 100 -19 12 677 100 -20 -3 079
Agricultural products, food preparations (I–IV) 1 079 11 -21 1 391 11 -16 -312
Mineral products (V) 972 10 -30 2 510 20 -4 -1 538
Raw materials and products of chemical industry (VI) 564 6 12 1 174 9 13 -610
Articles of plastics and rubber (VII) 304 3 -23 546 4 -27 -242
Wood and products  (IX) 829 9 -24 267 2 -33 562
Paper and articles thereof (X) 280 3 -19 296 2 -8 -16
Textiles and products thereof (XI) 372 4 -32 601 5 -23 -229
Metals and products thereof (XV) 797 8 -24 1 115 9 -21 -318
Machinery and equip. (XVI) 2 433 25 -1 2 873 23 -18 -440
Transport equipment (XVII) 694 7 -32 878 7 -59 -184
Miscellaneous manufactured art. (XX) 727 8 -29 349 3 -18 378
Other 547 6 -12 677 5 -20 -130

SOurce: Statistics Estonia

1,340,300 people live in Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia, by preliminary estimation the number of population in Estonia on 1 January 2009 was 1,340,300. Due to the increase in the number of births and to the decrease in the number of deaths the decline in population number slowed down last year.

In 2008, the number of population decreased by about 600 persons, a year ago by 1,600 persons. Although the natural increase stayed negative, i.e. the number of deaths still exceeded the number of births, the number of births increased and the number of deaths decreased compared to the previous year. 16,233 live births and 16,827 deaths were registered in 2008, i.e. about 460 births more and over 580 deaths less than in the previous year. The number of marriages and divorces also decreased — 6,175 marriages were contracted and 3,511 marriages were divorced. Compared to the previous year, the number of marriages decreased by about 850 and the number of divorces by about 300.

Births, deaths and natural increase, 2000–2008


The number of population published by Statistics Estonia is based on the 2000 Population and Housing Census data and is complemented by the annual data on registered births and deaths. Since 2000 the migration data were not used in the estimation of the population because of their low quality. It was mainly caused by the voluntary registration of the place of residence from the beginning of the 1990s up to 2005. Since 2006 the quality of migration data has improved. Therefore, Statistics Estonia will publish in addition to the preliminary adjusted population number also the population number with migration for the years 2000–2007 on 22 April 2009. Statistics Estonia will continue publishing the population number with and without migration until the new population census. After the 2011 Population Census Statistics Estonia will switch to one unified population number. For the need to ensure consistent time series, Statistics Estonia will use until the 2011 Census in calculations of different indicators the population number without migration based on the currently applied methodology.

More detailed information about the methodology and quality of migration data can be found on the web site of Statistics Estonia Statistics-> Subject Areas -> Population -> Vital events. More detailed data on population number as of 1 January 2009 have been published in the Statistical Database.

Source: Statistics Estonia

The state supports businesses with 4 bEEK

 On jan 21 a working group led by Minister Juhan Parts gathered at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to discuss the state support package prepared by the Ministry for the financing of exports of Estonian companies. The total potential volume of business support activities reaches four billion kroons, including the direct financial contribution by the state to the extent of 1.2 billion kroons.
“We are certainly not looking for an opportunity to support uncompetitive or weak companies. We will support the exports and adjustability of viable companies and make efforts to find resources for the alleviation of credit problems that have appeared in business activities”, said Juhan Parts.
Participants in the discussion acknowledged that the two main changes in the economic environment in the past year have been the weakening of demand and the decrease in the availability of capital, incl. loan capital. Although also positive signs can be seen in lending activities, there is still the risk that also viable companies may get into difficulties. Therefore it would be reasonable to keep access to loans on a level that would enable companies to cope with their current obligations, above all in export-oriented economic sectors.
The state can support financing providers by giving them sufficient assurance, by guaranteeing the commitments taken by banks, and can also support business activities by acquiring the necessary resources and directing them to businesses through banks.
It would certainly be necessary to enhance the existing business support programmes provided by the state: for investments in technology, for the exporting and marketing needs, start-up support, etc. It would be necessary to reduce bureaucracy and adjust the terms and conditions to changes in the economic situation.
 
At the same time, opportunities are sought for the solution of the credit problems faced by businesses. There are already four state support measures: loan guarantee provided by KredEx, capital loan, KredEx guaranteed start-up loan and short-term export guarantee with 90% coverage. As a new measure the state is considering the possibility to support the banks operating in Estonia to enable them to use state financing for the involvement of cheaper additional funds from financial markets for businesses, in comparison with the funds they currently get from their parent banks. Also the possibilities to provide additional export guarantees to companies and state refinancing of bank loans of specific exporting companies are considered for companies which have temporary difficulties and need to extend their existing loans or borrow additional funds, if the bank is not willing to do that.
 
It was agreed at the meeting to finalise the support programmes by February at the latest with the assistance of everybody present at the meeting, to enable the government to adopt a decision on the implementation of these programmes.
 
The following persons participated at the meeting: Aivar Rehe and Katrin Talihärm from the Estonian Banking Association, Ülari Alamets from Enterprise Estonia, Andrus Treier from KredEx, Enn Veskimägi and Toomas Luman from the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kersti Kraas, Ain Kabal, Kersti Kracht and Sven Sester from the Estonian Association of SMEs, Tarmo Kriis from the Estonian Employers’ Confederation, Veiko Tali from the Ministry of Finance and Keit Kasemets from the State Chancellery,  and Juhan Parts, Marika Priske, Ahti Kuningas and Lauri Tammiste from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Source: Estonian Ministry of Economics and Communications