Estonia’s foreign trade continued to decline in 2015

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2015, exports from Estonia amounted to 11.6 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 13.1 billion euros at current prices. Trade has been declining for the last three years but the biggest fall occurred in 2015.

In 2015, the exports of goods decreased by 4% and imports by 5%, compared to 2014. A year-over-year comparison shows that exports decreased both in 2013 and 2014 by 2% and imports by 1%. The bigger decline in 2015 was influenced the most by trade in mineral products (incl. motor spirits, fuel oils, electrical energy) and electrical equipment (incl. data communication equipment).

The trade deficit was 1.4 billion euros and it decreased by 249 million euros compared to 2014. The trade balance was positive in trade in wood and products thereof, miscellaneous manufactured articles, electrical equipment, and paper and articles thereof. The biggest trade surplus was recorded in trade with Sweden, Norway and the USA and the biggest trade deficit occurred in trade with Germany, Poland and Lithuania.

In 2015, the share of European Union countries was 75% in the exports of goods and 83% in imports; compared to 2014, the indicator increased 3% for exports, but remained on the same level for imports.

In 2015, the main countries of destination were Sweden (19% of Estonia’s total exports), Finland (16%) and Latvia (10%). Electrical equipment and miscellaneous manufactured articles (incl. furniture) were mainly exported to Sweden, electrical equipment and metals and products thereof to Finland, and mineral products (incl. electrical energy) and agricultural products and food preparations to Latvia. The largest drop was recorded in exports to Russia (down by 412 million euros), Belgium (down by 113 million euros) and Latvia (down by 96 million euros). Exports to Russia decreased on account of mechanical appliances and agricultural products and food preparations. Fewer mineral products were exported to Belgium and less raw materials and products of the chemical industry to Latvia. The most significant increase occurred in exports to the Netherlands, Lithuania and the United Kingdom.

The main countries of consignment in 2015 were Finland (14% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Latvia (9%) and Lithuania (9%). Mineral products and electrical equipment were mostly imported from Finland, mechanical appliances and transport equipment from Germany, agricultural products and food preparations from Latvia and mineral products from Lithuania. The most significant fall occurred in imports from Finland (down by 200 million euros), Germany (down by 134 million euros) and Russia (down by 97 million euros). Imports from Lithuania and Spain increased the most.

In 2015, the most important commodity group in exports was electrical equipment (21% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by wood and products thereof (10%), and agricultural products and food preparations (10%). The drop in Estonia’s exports in 2015 compared to 2014 was mostly influenced by a fall in the exports of mineral products (down by 245 million euros), electrical equipment (down by 165 million euros) and agricultural products and food preparations (down by 76 million euros). The exports of miscellaneous manufactured articles and wood and products thereof increased the most.

In 2015 the biggest share of Estonia’s imports was held by electrical equipment (18% of Estonia’s total imports), followed by mineral products (11%), and agricultural products and food preparations (11%). The fall in imports was influenced the most by a drop in the imports of mineral products (down by 361 million euros), electrical equipment (down by 206 million euros) and agricultural products and food preparations (down by 86 million euros). At the same time, the imports of transport equipment and miscellaneous manufactured articles increased.

In December 2015, the value of the exports of goods was 0.9 billion euros and the value of imports was 1.1 billion euros. In December 2015 compared to December 2014, exports remained on the same level and imports decreased by 3%.

The statistics are based on the questionnaires “Intrastat” and “Exports” (sale of fish and crustaceans in foreign waters and ports)”, the due dates of which were, respectively, 14 January 2015 and 15 January 2015, and on the customs declaration data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which were sent to Statistics Estonia on 20 January 2015. Statistics Estonia published the monthly summary of foreign trade in 12 working days.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

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