Decrease in industrial production affected by energy and mining

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the production of industrial enterprises decreased by 2% compared to the previous year. Production increased only in manufacturing, by 2%.

In 2019, of the 23 manufacturing activities, 11 exceeded their 2018 production levels. Among the branches with larger shares, production fell in the manufacture of wood, fabricated metal products and electrical equipment. Growth was registered in the manufacture of food, computers and electronic products.

67% of the total production of manufacturing was sold to the external market in 2019. Compared to 2018, exports increased by 3%, while sales to the domestic market fell by 1%.

In December 2019, compared to December 2018, the production of industrial enterprises decreased by 10%. The production in manufacturing fell by 6%, production of electricity by 38% and production of heat by 14%.

In December 2019, compared to November, the seasonally adjusted total industrial production decreased by 2% and the production of manufacturing by 1%.

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Record crop harvests in 2019

2019 was a favourable year for crop farmers, resulting in record total production as well as production per hectare. According to Statistics Estonia, the total production of cereals was 1,625,000 tonnes. The total production of potatoes was 120,500 tonnes, which is the largest in the last six years. The production of open-field vegetables was 77,000 tonnes.

After several unfavourable years, cereal production in 2019 was 77% higher than in 2018 and 6% higher than in 2015, when the weather also suited farmers. The total production of cereals included 847,000 tonnes of wheat, 523,000 tonnes of barley and 119,000 tonnes of rye. Cereal yield per hectare was 4.5 tonnes, which is the highest figure so far.

The largest sown area of cereals in the past quarter of a century, i.e. 364,000 hectares, contributed to the record harvest. For the first time, winter crops accounted for almost a half of the sown area of cereals and more than a half of production, with a remarkable average yield per hectare of 5.3 tonnes. The yield of summer crops at 3.7 tonnes per hectare was significantly lower.

Cereal production hit records in more than half of the counties. The average yield varied from 3.2 tonnes in Ida-Viru county to 3.4 tonnes in Hiiu county to 5.3 tonnes in Jõgeva county. These were the highest recorded yields for both Hiiu and Jõgeva counties.

The total production of dry pulses and winter rape was also record high, respectively, 111,000 tonnes and 148,000 tonnes. The sown area of dry pulses was 43,000 hectares and, similarly to rape and turnip rape seed, it decreased in the last two years. However, the sown area of winter rape and winter turnip rape increased to 51,000 hectares, accounting for as much as 71% of the total area of rape and turnip rape seed. The yield per hectare of dry pulses and winter rape did not surpass the level of 2015 when it was 2.6 tonnes and 2.9 tonnes, respectively.

The year was favourable also for the production of potatoes and open-field vegetables. The sown area of potatoes, which had been in decline for a long time, grew to 5,300 hectares. The average yield per hectare hit a record of 22.6 tonnes. The previous record yield was in 2015, at 20.1 tonnes per hectare. The production of potatoes per person (total production in Estonia divided by the number of population) was 91 kilogrammes. The largest potato production was in Tartu, Viljandi, Võru and Harju counties. While the sown area of open-field vegetables decreased in the last two years, the yield per hectare of 24.8 tonnes was the highest in the last eight years.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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Egg production was the smallest in years

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2019, milk production increased by 3% and meat production by 5%, while egg production was smaller than ever. Compared to 2018, the number of dairy cows, sheep and poultry decreased, while the number of pigs increased.

In 2019, the production of eggs amounted to 145.3 million, which is 29% less than in 2018. Production has decreased since the first quarter of 2018 and reached an all-time low of 30 million eggs in the 4th quarter of 2019. The number of poultry decreased 5% year on year, totaling 2 million at the end of 2019.

At the end of 2019, cattle numbered 254,000, including 85,000 dairy cows. Compared to the same time a year ago, there was 0.8% more cattle, whereas the number of dairy cows fell by 0.2%. There is a continuing trend that the number of dairy cows declines, but the annual average milk yield per cow increases. In 2019, the average milk yield per cow was 9,633 kilograms, i.e. 346 kilograms more than in 2018. The total milk production was 821,500 tonnes, which is an increase of 3% compared to the previous year.

There were 306,300 pigs in Estonia, which is the highest number in the last five years. Sheep and goats totalled 74,400 and their number has decreased in the last five years. In 2019, compared to 2018, there were 5% less sheep and goats, while compared to 2015, the decrease was 18%.

The production of meat increased by 5% year on year. 77,800 tonnes (carcass weight) of livestock and poultry were sold for slaughter (incl. export) and slaughtered in holdings. The production of beef decreased by 6% and mutton and goat meat by 13%. The production of pork increased by 8% and poultry meat by 5%.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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Rise of the construction price index was driven by wage pressure and higher prices of materials

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, the construction price index increased by 1.9% compared to the average of 2018. In the 4th quarter of 2019, compared to the 3rd quarter, the construction price index changed by 0.5%, and compared to the 4th quarter of 2018, by 1.7%.

Rise of the construction price index was driven by wage pressure and higher prices of materials

In 2019, compared to the 2018 average, the cost of labour increased by 4.3%, use of machinery by 2.0% and building materials by 0.7%. In the 4th quarter of 2019, compared to the 3rd quarter, the index was mainly affected by an increase in the costs of materials, which accounted for 44% of the change. In the 4th quarter, the increase in labour costs accounted for half of the year-on-year rise of the index.

The repair and reconstruction work price index rose by 2.2% in 2019 compared to the average of 2018, including a 4.4% increase in the costs of labour, 5.3% increase in the use of machinery and 0.4% increase in the prices of materials. The index change in the 4th quarter of 2019 was 0.5% compared to the 3rd quarter, and 1.9% compared to the 4th quarter of 2018.

The calculation of the construction price index covers four groups of buildings: detached houses, blocks of flats, industrial buildings and office buildings. The repair and reconstruction work price index covers office buildings. The construction price index expresses the change in construction expenditures taking into consideration the price changes of three basic inputs: labour force, building materials and building machines.

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Population higher by 3,540 persons

According to Statistics Estonia, the preliminary estimate of the population of Estonia as at 1 January 2020 was 1,328,360, which is 3,540 persons more than at the same time a year ago.

In 2019, there continued to be more deaths than births and natural increase remained negative (1,490). This was to be expected, as the number of older people in the population is high and the number of women in childbearing age is decreasing. The factor behind population growth in 2019 was positive net migration: 5,030 more people immigrated to Estonia than emigrated.

13,900 children were born in Estonia in 2019, which is more than 400 fewer children than the year before. The decrease in the number of births was to be expected, as the small generation born in the 1990s has reached active family formation age. It is likely that fertility continued to be affected by the increase in the third child allowance, as the number of births was higher than in 2017, although the number of women is smaller compared to 2017. The subsequent analysis will show whether the drop in 2019 was due to the decreasing number of first and second children or the number of third children also decreased compared to 2018.

There were 15,390 deaths in 2019. Despite the increase in the number of older people, the number of deaths has remained stable in the past decade due to increasing life expectancy.

External migration has contributed to population growth already for the past five years. 12,240 persons immigrated to Estonia and 7,210 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2019. Compared to the year before, net migration fell by 2,000 persons. Migration statistics are most difficult to estimate based on preliminary data, as Statistics Estonia later supplements migration figures with population register data and unregistered migration data. Reaching the final result is more complicated compared to other vital events, both technically and methodologically, and it can significantly increase migration flows. Emigration increases mainly due to unregistered leaving of Estonian and European Union citizens. Immigration increases mainly due to their return migration, which is not recorded in the population register, as the prior leaving was not registered.

The preliminary population number is based on the initial data on births, deaths and registered migration of the previous year.

Emigrants do not include persons who are not considered Estonian residents in the register in the current year as a result of amendments to the Population Register Act, as their place of residence at the last turn of the year was registered at municipal level.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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37 pct of tourists came from Finland, 15 pct from Russia

According to Statistics Estonia, 262,000 tourists stayed in Estonian accommodation establishments in November 2019. The total number of nights spent was 479,000. 56% of the tourists were foreign tourists and 44% were domestic tourists.

In November, a total of 146,000 foreign tourists used the services of accommodation establishments. Compared to 2018, the number of foreign tourists increased by 13%. 37% of them came from Finland, 15% from Russia, 11% from Latvia and 5% from Asian countries. 65% of foreign tourists came to Estonia for a holiday, 28% were on a business trip and the rest had some other reason for visiting. Foreign tourists spent in Estonia 289,000 nights, which is 12% more than in 2018. 76% of foreign tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Harju county, 8% in Pärnu county and 6% in Tartu county.

The number of domestic tourists in accommodation establishments amounted to 116,000, which is 10% more than in November 2018. Domestic tourists spent 190,000 nights in accommodation establishments – an increase of 11% compared to November 2018. 61% of domestic tourists were on holiday and 26% on a business trip. 29% of domestic tourists stayed in Harju county, 15% in both Pärnu and Tartu counties and 11% in Ida-Viru county.

In November, 1,001 accommodation establishments were available for tourists. 45% of the rooms and one third of the bed places were occupied. The average cost of a guest night at an accommodation establishment was 39 euros, i.e. two euros more than in November 2018. In Harju county, the average cost of a guest night was 46 euros, in Tartu county 38 euros, in Pärnu county 30 euros and in Ida-Viru county 32 euros.

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The consumer price index increased by 2.3 pct in 2019

According to Statistics Estonia, the consumer price index increased by 2.3% in 2019 compared to the average of 2018.

In 2019, the consumer price index was affected the most by food and non-alcoholic beverages. The biggest impact on the latter came from 17% more expensive vegetables and 4.9% more expensive flour and cereal products. The prices of petrol and diesel fuel increased by 0.5% and 1.5%, respectively, while alcoholic beverages were 3% cheaper than in 2018.

In 2019, compared to the average of 2018, the biggest price increases among food products were seen for potatoes (27.9%), fresh vegetables (24.1%) and rice (10.6%).

Change of consumer price index by commodity group, 2019
Commodity group 2018–2019, %
TOTAL 2.3
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 3.0
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 0.1
Clothing and footwear 0.7
Housing 2.9
Household goods 1.9
Health 2.5
Transport 0.7
Communications -2.9
Recreation and culture 5.8
Education 5.5
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 3.8
Miscellaneous goods and services 2.7

 

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