Foreign trade deficit 5 times less than May last year

According to the preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in May 2009 exports of goods from Estonia amounted to 8 billion kroons at current prices and imports to Estonia 8.6 billion kroons. Foreign trade deficit was five times less than in May of the previous year being smaller than that last in September 1995.

Compared to May of the previous year, exports from Estonia decreased by 30% or 3.5 billion kroons and imports by 40% or 5.9 billion kroons. Foreign trade deficit decreased to 0.6 billion kroons (2.9 billion kroons in May 2008) and the decline was caused by a faster decline in imports. Compared to April of the current year, exports increased by 5% but imports decreased by 8%. Trade deficit was registered as two thirds of that in April. Foreign trade deficit started to decrease significantly from January this year.

In May the value of goods exported from Estonia to the EU countries (EU 27) was 5.6 billion kroons with the share of 70% of Estonian total exports. Compared to May of the previous year, exports decreased by about a third. Exports from Estonia to non-EU countries or the so-called third countries amounted to 2.5 billion kroons decreasing by more than a quarter compared to May 2008.

Imports from the European Union (EU 27) countries to Estonia totalled 6.8 billion kroons with the share of 79% of Estonian total imports. Imports from the EU countries decreased by 4.7 billion kroons or 41% compared to May of the previous year. Imports from other countries than the EU accounted for 1.8 billion kroons decreasing by 39% compared to May of the previous year.

The foreign trade deficit with the EU countries accounted for 1.2 billion kroons (3.4 billion kroons in May 2008). At the same time, Estonia’s trade balance with other countries than the EU was positive or exports to those countries exceeded imports approximately by 0.7 billion kroons.

Estonian foreign trade, January 1995 – May 2009


Statistics Estonia releases the first estimates about foreign trade on the 40th day after the end of the reference period which are then revised on the 54th day. Statistics Estonia will release a more detailed overview about foreign trade for May on the 24th of July.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Hotel prices same as 2003

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 189,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments of Estonia, which was 16% less than in the same month of previous year. The average cost of a guest night has fallen down to the level of 2003, Statistics Estonia reports.

In recent years, the number of domestic tourists grew rapidly in May, i.e. the first month of tourism season, compared to the same month of previous year. This year 58,000 domestic tourists used the services of accommodation establishments which was a fifth less than in May of previous year. 2% more domestic tourists than in the same period of previous year stayed in accommodation establishments of Ida-Viru county, in other counties of Estonia the number of domestic tourists decreased.

In May 132,000 foreign tourists used the services of accommodation establishments which was 13% less than in the same month of previous year. The number of foreign tourists decreased from all main tourism partner countries, except Russia. The number of Finnish tourists who used the services of accommodation establishments decreased by about 6,000 tourists, and more than 3,000 fewer tourists arrived from both Latvia and Germany. Compared to the same period a year ago, 14% fewer foreign tourists visited the accommodation establishments of Tallinn where 70% of the foreign tourists using the services of accommodation establishments stayed. At the same time, more foreign tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Lääne-Viru, Lääne, Viljandi, Pärnu and Ida-Viru counties compared to May of the previous year.

In May 839 accommodation establishments with 18,000 rooms and 39,400 beds were available for tourists. The room occupancy rate was 37%. The room occupancy rate stayed nine percentage points lower than in May 2008. The room occupancy rate was higher than the average in the accommodation establishments of Harju, Pärnu, Tartu and Lääne counties.

In May the average cost of a guest night in an accommodation establishment was 482 kroons, which was 13% cheaper compared to May of the previous year and five kroons cheaper than in May 2003.

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Russian visa application process simplified for border residents

As a result of co-operation between the Estonian and Russian foreign ministries, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation notified the Estonian Foreign Ministry today that it will begin issuing visas to the Russian Federation by a simplified process to residents of border areas whose travel is related to science, cultural or art events, including university and other exchange programmes. To this end Russia will issue free multiple-entry visas to residents of border areas visiting Russia.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that Estonia is interested in continuing to cultivate good relations in the cultural and education fields, including developing cultural ties between Estonia and Russia’s border areas. “Facilitating border crossing for border residents is an essential step for active cultural co-operation. This is also supported by the cultural co-operation agreement between Estonia and Russia signed at the beginning of this year,” said Paet. For an example of good cultural co-operation, Paet mentioned the Estonian cultural days that took place this summer for the first time ever in St. Petersburg.

In addition to participants in science, cultural and art events, those border residents planning to visit the burial sites of loved ones can also apply for a visa to the Russian Federation using the simplified process. In such cases, the border resident applicant is issued a free single-entry Russian visa.

Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs