Exports increased 11pct in January

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2010 compared to the same month of the previous year, the exports of goods increased for the first time during the 14 months. Imports decreased 2%.

The growth of exports was partly caused by the low comparative base in 2009, as precisely in January of the previous year the exports was the smallest.

In January 2010 exports of goods from Estonia in current prices were 8.1 billion kroons and imports to Estonia accounted for 8.6 billion kroons. The trade deficit was announced as 0.5 billion kroons, which was threefold smaller compared to January 2009.

In January the value of goods exported to the EU countries (EU 27) was 5.6 billion kroons with the share of 70% of total exports. Compared to the same month of the previous year exports to the EU countries increased 5%. Exports to other countries or the so-called third countries amounted to 2.4 billion kroons and increased by 29% compared to January 2009.

Imports from the European Union (EU 27) countries totalled 6.7 billion kroons with the share of 78% of Estonian total imports. Imports from EU 27 countries increased 4%. Imports from other countries than EU 27 accounted for 1.9 billion kroons, decreasing by a fifth compared to January of the previous year.

The trade deficit between the EU countries amounted to 1.1 billion kroons (1.1 billion kroons also in January of the previous year). At the same time the trade balance with other countries than the EU was positive or exports to those countries exceeded imports by 0.6 billion kroons.

In January 2010 compared to December 2009, exports decreased 6% and imports 16%. This is a regular decline of foreign trade at the beginning of the year.

Estonian foreign trade, January 2009 – January 2010

Diagram: Estonian foreign trade, January 2009 – January 2010

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 January on the 26th of March.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Two spas organize St. Petersburg-Tallinn-Kuressaare flights

Owners of Grand Rose Spa Hotel and Viimsi Spa Tervis plan to organize charter flights since March for bringing tourists from St. Petersburg into Tallinn and Kuressaare, capital of the island of Saaremaa.

It is the first time that the island of Kuressaare has a charter connection to Russia, writes local newspaper Meie Maa.

“We wish to increase the number of Russian customers in our spas,” explained Mario Sau, sales manager of Grand Rose Spa Hotel that is located in Kuressaare.
According to Sau, Russians are an important customer group in Grand Rose. “We usually have a lot of Russians here during winter holidays and in the high season,” said Sau.

Source: BBN

Kalvi Hotel might be on sale soon

The Danish maker of kids’ furniture Flexa has been reconstructed following losses of 350 million Danish kroons since 2007. The bulk of the company’s production is situated in Estonia, where the group also owns the Kalvi Mõis hotel, Rannu Rukkilill wood processing and agricultural enterprise and wood pellet producer Flexa Heat, writes news2biz.

Following massive losses in 2008/09, the equity in the old holding company Flexa Holding was negative by about 160 million Danish kroons. Creditors, mainly banks such as Danske Bank and Nordea, stepped in and formed another holding company Flexa4Dreams which now controls the activities in the company.

This move means that the company’s founders the Lykke Jensen family including Henning Lykke Jensen and his sons Per and Søren Lykke Jensen, have lost their holdings in Flexa.

Read more from BBN

Estonia to donate unused new flu vaccine to WHO

The Social Affairs Ministry is considering either returning the 200 000 or so doses of the new flu vaccine to be left unused in Estonia to the producers or donating them to the World Health Organization (WHO) to be provided to countries that need it, the daily Postimees said.

Most of the 250 000 doses of swine flu vaccine bought by Estonia in December and January will be left unused as fewer than 50 000 vaccinations had been performed by the end of February. Estonia is offering the vaccine to residents for free.

For the new season, a new seasonal flu vaccine will be worked out that according to WHO recommendations is due to contain also the stem of the A/H1N1 virus.

Jarno Habicht, the Estonian representative to the WHO, said that co-ordination of humanitarian aid was one of the tasks of the organization, and the WHO is trying to send the vaccine to as many countries as possible so that it would be available to people worldwide on a fairer basis. He said that more than ten countries were ready to donate their surplus vaccine to the WHO but that Estonia had not made a formal offer yet.

While the WHO’s initial goal was to ensure availability of the vaccine in poor countries, now it is working to make it available also in medium-income countries. “It means that to a large degree the vaccine will be moving outside the European region — to Asia and South America,” Habicht said. He said there were still a number of countries that hadn’t received any vaccine at all.

Estonia will make final calculations in April as to how much of the vaccine is redundant.

Source: BNS