In 2012 no significant changes occurred in Estonian industry

According to Statistics Estonia, according to preliminary data, in 2012 the production of industrial enterprises remained on the level of the previous year. Export increased, but the sales on the domestic market decreased.

A small growth in the production of manufacturing that took place at the beginning of 2012 compared to the same month of the previous year was replaced with a decline in March, which continued until the end of August. The main reason for the fall in production was the high reference base in the manufacture of electronic products, but also lower external demand had a negative impact. Since September the production in manufacturing grew significantly. The main reason for the growth at the end of the year was the recovery in the production volume in the manufacture of electronic products, in other branches of industry no significant changes occurred. Despite the faster output growth in industrial production at the end of the year, the summary of 2012 remained on the last year’s level.

In the last months of 2012, the production in manufacturing grew mainly due to the increase in exports. More than 70% of the whole production of manufacturing was sold on the external market. Export sales of the manufacturing production grew 3% compared to 2011. The demand on the domestic market was lower – in 2012 domestic sales decreased by 2% compared to the previous year.

In 2012, the production exceeded the volume of the previous year in almost half branches. The growth in the production of manufacturing was positively influenced by the branches holding bigger shares – the manufacturing of electronic products where the production increased 4% compared to 2011 and the manufacturing of wood and food products where the production grew 1% in both branches. The growth in the production of manufacturing was negatively influenced by the fall in the manufacturing of metal products, chemicals, furniture and motor vehicles.

In December 2012, the production of industry increased 7% compared to December 2011; the production of manufacturing grew 6%. In December compared to December 2011, the production of electricity increased 5% and the production of heat 48%.

In December 2012 compared to November, the seasonally adjusted industrial production fell 1%; the production of manufacturing 2% during the month.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Swedbank earns its biggest-ever profit in Estonia

Swedbank Estonia announced yesterday that it made EUR 199.6m in profit last year which is 9% more than in 2011 and the bank’s biggest-ever profit in Estonia.

In the fourth quarter, the bank earned 63.3m euros in net profit or almost twice the third-quarter result.

Bank’s CEO Priit Perens said that record profits came from the decline in bad loan provisions that last year were EUR 40m lower than in 2011.

Read more from BBN

Retail sales grew 7 pct in 2012

Retail sales of goods by Estonian retail trade enterprises totalled 4.4 billion euros at constant prices in 2012, an increase of 7% over the preceding year, Statistics Estonia said.

In December 2012, retail sales of goods by retail trade enterprises totalled 429.2 million euros. Retail sales by stores selling manufactured goods increased 5% compared to December 2011. Sales increased in four and decreased in three economic activities. Retail sales by other specialised stores, such as stores selling computers and accessories, photography supplies, books, sports equipment, games and toys, etc., and retail sales of pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics increased the most.

The sales revenues of retail trade enterprises totalled 525
million euros in December, of which retail sales of goods accounted for 82%. Compared to December 2011, sales revenues increased by 10% measured in current prices. Month on month, the indicator increased 18%.

Retail sales by grocery stores increased 3% compared to December 2011. The modest growth in grocery retail volumes was partially a result of the very high reference base from December 2011. The retail sales of motor fuel increased 13% measured in constant prices compared to December 2011. Compared with the preceding months the rate of growth in retail sales slightly accelerated mainly due to the low reference base of December 2011 and a deceleration in the price increase for fuel.

Compared to November 2012, retail sales by retail trade enterprises increased by a fifth at constant prices, a usual phenomenon for December when Christmas goods are bought. According to seasonally and working-day adjusted data, retail sales increased 2%.

Source: Estonian Review

Finns buy Estonian paint business

Finnish company Teknos Group has acquired the entire share capital of Kemiflora Kaubandus from Kemiflora, announced the company.

The acquisition is subject to approval by Estonia’s competition authorities. Teknos Group applied for the approval immediately after the signature of the business purchase agreement.

Read more from BBN

Estonia records EU’s lowest government debt in Q3

Estonia had the lowest government debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio at 9.6% at the end of the third quarter, according to the latest data from the EU’s statistical office Eurostat.

Estonia was followed by Bulgaria (18.7%) and Luxembourg (20.9%).

Latvia’s figure stood at 40.4% and was the sixth lowest government debt across the European Union, while Lithuania’s government debt amounted to 40.6%, the seventh lowest in the EU.

The highest ratios of government debt to GDP were recorded in Greece – 152.6%, Italy – 127.3%, Portugal – 120.3%, and Ireland – 117%.

Read more from BBN

Cereal output grew by one third in 2012

Estonia’s cereal production in 2012 totalled 993 800 tons, which was less than expected but nevertheless marked an increase by almost one-third compared to the previous year, according to preliminary figures released by Statistics Estonia Monday.

The end of the harvesting period in 2012 was rainy, which didn’t allow to harvest everything that was grown. Overall 485 000 tons of wheat, 341 500 tons of barley and 57 300 tons of rye was produced. The average yield per hectare was 3 419 kilograms of cereals, including 3 901 kilograms of wheat, 3 129 kilograms of barley and 3 393 kilograms of rye.

The sown area of cereals was 290 600 hectares in 2012, 2% less than a year earlier. The sown area of wheat was 124 300 hectares, 3% less than in 2011. The sown area of barley decreased by 8% year on year to 109 200 hectares. If in the past years the sown area of rye has been decreasing, then in 2012 the sown area of rye amounted to 16 900 hectares, marking an increase by more than a quarter compared to the previous year.

Of legumes 13 200 tons was produced and the average yield was 1 202 kilograms per hectare. Legumes were sown on 11 000 hectares, almost one-third more than in 2011 and marking the biggest sown area of legumes during the last three decades.

According to preliminary data the yield of rape and turnip rape seed was 162 600 tons. In 2012, rape and turnip rape seed were sown on 86 000 hectares. The average yield was 1 892 kilograms per hectare.

Production of potatoes amounted to 148 200 tons last year, one-tenth less than in 2011. The sown area of potatoes has been less than 10 000 hectares since 2008 and was 8 800 hectares in 2012. The average yield of potatoes was 16 882 kilograms per hectare.

In autumn 2012, 44 900 hectares of winter wheat, 8 900 hectares of rye and 4 700 hectares of triticale was sown for harvesting in 2013.

Source: Estonian Review

Share of renewable energy almost 15 pct

Renewable energy accounted for 14.9% of the total amount of electric energy consumed in Estonia during 2012, 2 percentage points more than in 2011, the transmission system operator Elering said.

The percentage that renewable energy makes up of total energy consumption already exceeds the goals set for the coming few years in the explanatory letter to the bill of amendments to the Electricity Market Act that is being handled by the parliament, Elering said. The target set by the explanatory letter for 2013 is 11.3%, whereas according to a forecast by producers the percentage of renewable energy will be 12.6, not including the amount generated using biomass at the Narva plants.

Altogether 1.37 terawatt-hours of electricity was produced using renewable sources during 2012, 18% more than a year ago. The biggest contributor to renewable generation was biomass, the amount of electricity produced from which grew 15% year on year to 880 gigawatt-hours. The amount of electricity generated using biomass fell in September when large scale burning of biomass at the Narva plants of the state-owned energy group Eesti Energia was ended.

The amount of wind energy generated during the year grew by 23% or 83 gigawatt-hours as several new wind farms, such as those of Aseriaru, Paldiski and Tuhavalja went into operation. The subsidy paid on wind energy meanwhile declined 7% as a result of significantly lower efficiency of wind generating facilities due to poorer wind conditions in 2012.

Records taken on the Pakri peninsula and at Virtsu showed the daily average wind speed as having been significantly lower in 2012 than in 2011. Some of the new wind farms that went into operation during the year did not get any subsidy yet and the sums received by the new generating capabilities did not balance off the overall
reduction in subsidies.

The amount of renewable energy on which renewable energy support was paid during the year was 1.17 terawatt-hours. The sum total paid out grew by about one-tenth to 62.7 million euros.

Of high-efficiency cogeneration support 4.3 million euros was paid out during the year, nearly 11% less than in 2011. The amount of energy receiving the support dropped from 147 gigawatt-hours to 132 gigawatt-hours. The major energy producers working in high-efficiency cogeneration mode produced on the average 11 % less energy in high-efficiency cogeneration mode than a year ago, whereas the use of biomass at their stations increased by approximately as much.

In the final quarter of last year renewable energy accounted for 12.6% of the total amount of energy consumed in Estonia, compared with 16.9% in the final quarter of 2011.

Source: Estonian Review