April electricity output grows 20 pct on year

Output of electricity in Estonia in April grew 20% over April 2012 to 921 gigawatt-hours (GWh) as consumption increased 5% to 691 GWh, the transmission system operator Elering said on Friday.

The increase in output was mainly a result of bigger exports compared with April 2012. In addition, the low price of carbon emissions quota favoured electricity generation, Elering said.

Commercial export of electricity from Estonia grew 60% over April 2012 to 539 GWh. Of exports 41% went to Lithuania, 37% to Latvia, and 22% to Finland.

Import of electricity, meanwhile, moved up 30% to 312 GWh and Latvia provided 53 %, Finland 25% and Lithuania 22% of the electricity imported into Estonia during April.

Electricity generation in Latvia in April totalled 744 GWh, 3% less than in April 2012. In Latvia the high river flows of spring started later than last year and the surplus of the Latvian electricity system in April 2013 was lower by one-third than a year ago at 134 GWh.

Latvia imported 34 GWh of electricity from Estonia and exported 154 GWh to Lithuania last month, according to balanced electricity trade figures.

In Lithuania 283 GWh of electricity was produced in April, 51% more than in the same month a year ago. Domestic output covered 34% of Estonia’s electricity consumption and the shortfall of the country’s electricity balance in April was 544 gigawatt-hours.

Of Lithuania’s imports, import from Estonia accounted for roughly 30% and import via Latvia also for 30%. Import from third countries made up 40%.

Consumption of electricity by the three Baltic countries taken together grew 6% in April year on year to 2 128 GWh, according to the initial estimate. Their aggregate shortfall in April was 181 GWh, 38% smaller than a year ago.

Source: Estonian Review (original source BNS)

Retail sales of goods was 287 euros per inhabitant in April

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2013 compared to April of the previous year, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises increased 5% at constant prices. When in March the retail sales increased 7% compared to the same month of the previous year, then in April the retail sales growth slightly decelerated.

In April 2013, the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises were 369 million euros, which was almost 287 euros per inhabitant. The retail sales in stores selling manufactured goods increased 9% compared to April 2012. The sales increased in most economic activities. Only the retail sales in non-specialized stores selling predominantly industrial goods (e.g. department stores) and in stores selling textiles, clothing and footwear stayed at the same level compared to the previous year. In April, the retail sales of second-hand goods in stores and non-store retail sale (stalls, markets, direct sale) increased the most, where the retail sales increased by half (50%) compared to April of the previous year. The sales increase in these stores does not significantly influence the retail sales of goods of retail trade enterprises, because the share of this economic activity is very small – 1.8% in April 2013. In April, a higher than average increase in retail sales occurred in retail sales via mail order or the Internet (growth 21%), in stores selling household goods and appliances, hardware and building materials (growth 16%) and in stores selling pharmaceutical goods and cosmetics (growth 14%).

The retail sales in grocery stores which slightly recovered in March turned into fall again in April and decreased 1% compared to April of the previous year. The fall in retail sales of these stores was partly influenced by the acceleration in the price increase of food products. If in April 2012 the annual price increase of food products was 1.4%, then in April this year 5.2%.

The retail sales of automotive fuel increased 13% at constant prices compared to April 2012, compared with the previous month, the retail sales growth rate slightly decelerated. The growth in retail sales of automotive fuel was influenced by the price decrease of automotive fuel. In April this year the automotive fuel was 6.6% cheaper than a year earlier.

Compared to the previous month, in April the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 1% at constant prices. According to the seasonally and working-day adjusted data, the retail sales decreased one percent. During the four months (January–April), the retail sales in retail trade enterprises increased 4.5% at constant prices compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In April the turnover of retail trade enterprises were 442.9 million euros, out of which the retail sales of goods accounted for 83%. Compared to April 2012, the turnover increased by 5% at current prices. Compared to the previous month, this indicator increased 1%.


Read more from Statistics Estonia

The production of electricity increased by 19%

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2013, the production of industrial enterprises increased by 3% compared to April of the previous year. The growth in the production was most of all influenced by the manufacturing of electronic products and electricity.

In April the production in manufacturing increased by 2% compared to the same month of the previous year. Among the branches of industry holding larger shares, the production grew also in the manufacture of wood and chemical products and building materials. The volume of production fell in the manufacture of food products, electrical equipment and metal products.

In April, 72% of the whole production of manufacturing was sold on the external market. According to unadjusted data, the export sales of the manufacturing production grew 15% compared to April 2012, domestic sales increased 7%.

In April 2013 compared to March, the seasonally adjusted total industrial production decreased 3%, the production in manufacturing fell 4%.

Compared to April 2012, the production of electricity increased by 19%, the production of heat remained on the level of the previous year. The growth of electricity production was mainly caused by the increase in exports compared to April of the previous year.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Tallinn Old Town Days 1-8.06.2013

XXXII Tallinn Old Town Days will take place between 1st and 8th of June.  The topic of this years is “Every tower has it’s story”. It means a great opportunity for the guests of our city to reveal the secrets of the Tallinn medieval towers and to get in touch with their history, architecture and interior.

See the program of each day herevanalinnapaevad

British competitor acquires a stake in Sportland

Sports Direct International, UK’s leading sports retailer, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire majority stakes in  Estonian-owned sports retailer Sportland International Group.

The company acquired a 60% equity stake in Sportland, the largest sporting goods retailer in the Baltic region.

Read more from BBN

The growth in construction volumes has slowed

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the total production of Estonian construction enterprises in Estonia and foreign countries grew 2%, of which 6% on domestic market.

In 2012, the construction volumes grew by 19% on average compared to a year earlier, in the 1st quarter this year the growth slowed down.

In the 1st quarter of 2013, the production value of construction enterprises amounted to 380 million euros, of which the production value of building construction was 240 million euros and the production of civil engineering totalled 140 million euros. Compared to the same quarter of 2012, the volume of building construction in real terms decreased 3%, but the volume of civil engineering increased by a tenth.

During the recent years the construction market has been supported mainly by the increase in the civil engineering and repair and reconstruction work in building construction, but by now also the new building construction has started slowly to upturn, mainly on the domestic construction market.

The construction volume of Estonian construction enterprises in foreign countries decreased by nearly a fifth compared to the 1st quarter of 2012. Both, the volumes in building construction as well as in civil engineering decreased. The share of the construction volumes in foreign countries accounted for 12% of the total volume of construction volume in the 1st quarter.

According to the data of the Register of Construction Works, in the 1st quarter of 2013, the number of dwelling completions was 419, i.e. about a third less than in the same period of 2012. More than half of completed dwellings were situated in one-family, two-family or terraced houses. The majority of completed dwellings were situated in Tallinn. There is still a demand for new dwellings with good location and quality on the construction market. In the 1st quarter of 2013, building permits were granted for the construction of 608 dwellings. Although the number on completed dwellings stayed by a tenth less compared to the 1st quarter of 2012, the planned dwellings are on average 16 square metres bigger than at the same time a year ago. The most popular type of building is blocks of flats.

In the 1st quarter of 2013, the number of completed non-residential buildings was 154 with the useful floor area of 149,300 square metres – this was primarily made up of new office, agricultural and industrial premises. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2012, the useful floor area as well as the cubic capacity of completed non-residential buildings increased.

Source: Statistics Estonia

See a graph Construction volume index and its trend, 1st quarter 2003 – 1st quarter 2013 here

Production of full-length films hit record

According to Statistics Estonia, 46 full-length films were released in 2012 when Estonian film celebrated its 100th birthday. 13 of these were full-length feature films and 33 were full-length documentaries.

In 2012, in total there were 241 films released, of which 195 were short films. Nevertheless, the total number of released films was smaller than in record year 2003, when there were released 261 films, among these 240 short films.

There were 332 films in total shown in Estonian cinemas in 2012 which is the highest number of Estonian re-independence years. There were 28 Estonian, 134 European, 154 USA’s and 16 other countries’ films. The share of the European and other countries has increased and the share of the USA’s films has decreased during last years. The number of Estonian films was the highest in 2011 when there were 40 Estonian films running in Estonian cinemas.

There were near 2.5 million cinema visits in 2012, which is the highest level of the last 20 years. Compared to 2011, there were over 100,000 cinema visits more.

The most popular films were “Ice Age 4” (171,000 visits), “Skyfall” (95,000 visits) and “Madagascar 3” (88,000 visits). The most popular Estonian film placed on the fourth position and it was “Seenelkäik“ (“Mushrooming“) of Toomas Hussar (73,700 visits). “Eestlanna Pariisis“ (“Une Estonienne à Paris”) of Ilmar Raag was on the 15th position (36,600 visits) and “Vasaku jala reede“ (“Bad Hair Friday“) of Andres Kõpper and Arun Tamm was on the 21st position (33,000 visits). Estonian films gathered nearly 250,000 visits or 10% of the total number of cinema visits.

The average cinema ticket price was 4.1 euros and it stayed on the same level compared to the previous year.

Full-length film — a film of duration of at least 60 minutes (52 minutes in case of TV formats).

SOurce: Statistics Estonia

See a graph “Estonian film production, 2008–2012” here

Estonia gets its first freeze-drying plant

OÜ Freezedry will on May 30 open the first freeze-drying plant in Estonia at Simuna in West-Viru County, in which the company invested 800 000 euros.

“The investment into building the plant exceeds 800 000 euros. including 300 000 euros of support from the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA) for equipment and 100 000 euros for the construction of the building,” board member Mermi Kangur told BNS.

As the plant will start production with one shift, it will initially employ five people. If the company gets enough orders more staff will be hired as and when necessary, Kangur said.

“The freeze-dryer takes around a thousand kilograms of berries at a time – speaking about strawberries, for instance, about 100 kilograms or slightly less is left,” Kangur said. The process takes 24 hours, after which the device has to be de-iced, which takes 12 hours.

Kangur said the company has already received the first orders. Finnish entrepreneurs have displayed the biggest interest. “They want to enter the Finnish market with their own brands, outsourcing the service to us, whereas we’d like to enter the Scandinavian market with our own brand,” she said.

The only freeze-drying plant in the Baltic region thus far was near Kaunas, Lithuania, but its input capacity is nearly 10 times smaller at 100 kilograms of berries a day, she added.

Freeze-drying is a technology developed by NASA, the company said. Freeze-dried products retain all their principal qualities – colour, shape, size, taste and texture, as well as nutritional content. All foods from which water can be removed can be freeze-dried.

Source: Estonian Review (BNS)

A. Le Coq exports to Greece

The Tartu, Estonia-based beverage maker A. Le Coq has multiplied exports to Greece and is eyeing sales of 400 000-550 000 euros on the Greek market this year, which would exceed last year’s sales tenfold.

“We started selling on the Greek market three years ago and by now we have a sales network that covers the whole Greece,” CEO Tarmo Noop said. “The geography of A. Le Coq beverages has expanded from year to year and in terms of marketing, European summer holiday destinations are just the right place for selling one’s products as it helps raise awareness of A. Le Coq products also in tourists’ home countries.”

Noop said that in soft drink exports, Angry Birds is the company’s biggest success. Companies of the Finnish Olvi group, to which also A. Le Coq belongs, have the exclusive rights to sell the drinks of the brand on several European markets. Of alcoholic beverages A. Le Coq exports mainly beer, cider and long drinks to Europe.

The beverages maker has 10 groups of products in its portfolio, the largest of which are beer, water, juices and soft drinks.

Source: Estonian Review (BNS)

Estonia, Finland let EC to pinpoint terminal location

Estonia and Finland failed to reach the common understanding regarding which country should host the regional LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal, and agreed to let the European Commission to decide the matter on their behalf, writes news2biz ESTONIA.

The report on possible terminal locations, ordered by the EC and put together by Booz consultancy, left the matter somewhat open.

Read more from BBN