In February exports of goods increased

According to Statistics Estonia, in February 2016, exports of goods increased by 7% and imports by 5% compared to February of the previous year. One-third of the exports growth was due to an increase in the exports of goods of Estonian origin.

In February, exports from Estonia amounted to 0.9 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.1 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 140 million euros (in February 2015, it was 151 million euros).

The top destination country of Estonia’s exports in February was Sweden (20% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by Finland (16%) and Latvia (9%). There was an increase in the exports to most of the top destination countries, with the biggest increase having occurred in exports to Sweden, Canada and Finland (up by 23 million, 20 million and 12 million euros, respectively). Exports to the Netherlands decreased the most (16 million euros).

The biggest share in Estonia’s exports in February was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and products thereof and miscellaneous manufactured articles. In February, there was a rise in exports in almost all commodity sections. The biggest increase occurred in the exports of three commodity sections: 1) miscellaneous manufactured articles (with prefabricated buildings contributing to the growth the most), 2) transport equipment (respectively, motor cars) and electrical equipment (respectively data communication equipment). There was a decrease in the exports of mechanical appliances.

The share of goods of Estonian origin in exports was 70% in February. Exports of goods of Estonian origin increased by 3% compared to February of the previous year. Of the top ten destination countries for exports from Estonia, the share of goods of Estonian origin in exports was the biggest in exports to Denmark (94%) and the United Kingdom (89%), and the smallest in exports to Russia (20%). Goods of Estonian origin are goods produced and processed in Estonia.

The main countries of consignment in February were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Latvia (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Germany, Latvia and Sweden (up by 18 million, 14 million and 13 million euros, respectively). At the same time, the greatest decrease occurred in imports from Russia (down by 19 million euros).

In February, the main commodities imported were electrical equipment, mechanical appliances, agricultural products and food preparations, and transport equipment. The biggest rise was recorded in the imports of mechanical appliances and transport equipment. At the same time, the imports of mineral products fell significantly.

In the comparison of January and February 2016, exports of goods grew 11% and imports 8%.

Diagram: Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2013–2016

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The carriage of goods declined in 2015

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2015, the number of passengers served by Estonian transport enterprises remained on the same level but the freight volume in tonnes decreased by 13% compared to the previous year. Passenger traffic volume increased by 10% and freight turnover increased by 7% compared to 2014.

In 2015, the number of passengers carried by Estonian transport enterprises amounted to 211.6 million. 92.4% of these passengers were carried by road, 4.1% by sea, 3.1% by rail and 0.3% by air. In 2015, the passenger traffic volume of road transport enterprises was 6 billion passenger-kilometres.

The amount of passengers that used road transport remained the same as in 2014. There were 195.6 million passengers in total and 86% of them, i.e. about 167.5 million passengers, used urban transport (i.e. buses, trams and trolleybuses). The number of passengers using county lines was about 16.5 million (3% less compared to 2014). National non-scheduled transport was used by 4.4 million passengers (down by 12%). The number of passengers was 4.1 million on domestic highway lines (down by 8%) and 1.3 million passengers on international lines (up by 60%). In 2015, the passenger traffic volume was 3.2 billion passenger-kilometres. The passenger traffic volume of road transport enterprises increased in domestic traffic and in international traffic, respectively by 16% and by 56%.

In 2015, Estonian sea transport enterprises carried 8.7 million passengers, which is as much as in 2014. The number of passengers carried was 2.3 million in domestic sea traffic and 6.4 million in international sea traffic. The passenger traffic volume of sea transport enterprises decreased by 8% and was nearly 1.1 billion passenger-kilometres in 2015. International sea traffic amounted to 98% of passenger traffic volume.

Last year 6.6 million passengers were carried by rail, which is 12% more than in 2014. 6.5 million passengers were carried in domestic rail traffic (up by 13%) and 55,100 passengers were carried in international rail traffic (down by 43% compared to 2014).The passenger traffic volume of rail transport enterprises increased by 4% and was 292.1 million passenger-kilometres.
In 2015, Estonian air transport enterprises carried 669,600 passengers. This is 13% less than in 2014. 19,400 passengers were carried in domestic air traffic (up by 9%) and 650,200 passengers were carried in international air traffic (down by 14%). The passenger traffic volume of air transport enterprises increased by 2% and was 1.5 billion passenger-kilometres in 2015.

In 2015, 65.7 million tonnes of goods were carried by Estonian transport enterprises, of which nearly 55% was carried by road, 43% by rail and 2% by sea.

Freight turnover of Estonian transport enterprises totalled 11.4 billion tonne-kilometres in 2015.

Road transport companies carried nearly 36.3 million tonnes of goods in 2015, which is 3% less than in 2014. 26.2 million tonnes of goods were transported in domestic road traffic and 10.1 million tonnes in international traffic. Freight turnover increased by 15% compared to 2014 and totalled 7.9 billion tonne-kilometres.

In 2015, the amount of goods carried by rail was 23% smaller than the year before, amounting to 28 million tonnes. 15 million tonnes of goods were transported in domestic rail traffic (down by 25%) and 13 million tonnes in international traffic (down by 20%). Compared to 2014, freight turnover decreased by 4% and amounted to 3.1 billion tonne-kilometres.

Estonian sea transport enterprises carried 1.4 million tonnes of goods in 2015, which is 11% less than in 2014. Compared to 2014, the freight turnover in sea transport decreased by a fifth and amounted to 331 million tonne-kilometres.

Estonian air transport enterprises carried 4,400 tonnes of cargo and the freight turnover was 2.2 million tonne-kilometres in 2015. Compared to 2014, there was 52% more cargo transported and freight turnover increased by 27%. Among the cargo transported by air, the carriage of postal shipments increased, but carriage of goods decreased.

Carriage of passengers and goods by transport enterprises, 2015
Passengers, millions Passenger traffic volume, billion pkm Freight, million tonnes Freight turnover, billion tkm
Total 211,6 6,0 65,7 11,4
Road transport 195,6 3,2 36,3 7,9
..urban transport 167,5 0,9
Rail transport 6,6 0,3 28,0 3,1
Sea transport 8,7 1,1 1,4 0,3
Air transport 0,7 1,5 0,0 0,0

– magnitude nil

The data of Estonian transport enterprises are collected and published according to the enterprise’s principal activity. The enterprise’s principal activity is determined based on the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK (NACE)): land transport (rail and road), water transport and air transport.

Road transport of passenger includes bus, trolley bus and tram transport. Urban transport include passenger transport traffic of buses, trams and trolley buses.

Passenger traffic volume is the volume of work done in the transport of passengers. It is measured in passenger-kilometres (pkm). One passenger-kilometre is the transport of one person across a distance of one kilometre.

Freight turnover is the volume of work done in the transport of goods. It is measured in tonne-kilometres (tkm). One tonne-kilometre is the transport of one tonne of goods across a distance of one kilometre.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Exports of goods decreased by a tenth in January

According to Statistics Estonia, in January 2016, exports of goods decreased by 11% and imports increased by 2% compared to January of the previous year.

In January, exports from Estonia amounted to 825 million euros and imports to Estonia to 983 million euros at current prices. The last time that exports were so small was five years ago in January 2011. The trade deficit was 158 million euros (in January 2015 it was 42 million euros).

The top destination country of Estonia’s exports in January was Sweden (20% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by Finland (16%) and Latvia (10%). There was a decrease in the exports to  most of the top destination countries, the biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden and the USA (down by 29 million and 17 million euros, respectively).

The biggest share in Estonia’s exports in January was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and products thereof, mechanical appliances and miscellaneous manufactured articles. The biggest decrease occurred in the exports of electrical equipment (incl. data communication equipment) and mineral products (incl. motor spirits).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in exports was 69% in January. Exports of goods of Estonian origin decreased by 12% compared to January of the previous year. Of the top ten destination countries for exports from Estonia, the share of goods of Estonian origin in exports was biggest in exports to Sweden (87%) and Finland (78%) but smallest to Russia (16%). Exports of goods of Estonian origin are the export of goods produced and processed in Estonia.

The main countries of consignment in January were Finland (14% of Estonia’s total imports), Lithuania (12%) and Germany (11%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Lithuania and Latvia (up by 39 million and 14 million euros, respectively). At the same time, the greatest decrease occurred in imports from Russia (down by 23 million euros).

In January, the main commodities imported were electrical equipment, mineral products, agricultural products and food preparations and mechanical appliances. The increase was biggest for the the imports of transport equipment and mineral products. At the same time, the imports of electrical equipment decreased significantly.

In the comparison of December 2015 and January 2016, exports of goods decreased 10% and imports 9%.Diagram: Estonia’s foreign trade, 2013–2016

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Weak export demand behind the sluggish economic growth

According to the flash estimate of Statistics Estonia, GDP grew by 0.7% yoy in Estonia in 4Q 2015. The growth rate met our expectations. Compared to the previous quarter, GDP grew by 1.2% (seasonally and working day adjusted). In 2015, GDP grew by 1.2% in real terms, according to the preliminary calculations. 

Decrease in exports inhibited GDP growth the most 

According to the flash estimate, export of goods decreased by 4% yoy in the fourth quarter. The major share of the drop in exports came from the Russian market. Decrease of exports to the Russian market was broad based. The increase of exports to many European countries did not compensate the decrease on the Russian market. Although export dropped in the fourth quarter, the decrease slowed down in the last two months of the year.

Decrease in investments are expected to recede 

The accelerated growth of import of capital goods indicates the possible improvement of investments in the fourth quarter of the last year and the beginning of 2016. However, improved demand, as well as an increase in prices, is a precondition for a recovery of investments without a decrease in business sector profits and profitability. We expect that the very low interest rate environment will persist in 2016-2017, supporting lending for investments. In 2016, the government is expected to use more EU funds in its investments, while household investments in dwellings should continue its moderate pace.

Slow down of the growth of purchasing power is expected to limit the growth of private consumption 

Robust growth of retail sales refers to the ongoing fast growth of private consumption in the fourth quarter. However, the growth of net wages in real terms are expected to slow in this year, as prices will start growing and labour taxes will be lowered less than in 2015. We expect the robust growth of private consumption to slow gradually, and this will set some limits to growth in retail trade, as well as in other domestic services. However, the financial situation of households remains relatively strong. A rise in pensions, children’s allowances, and other social benefits will further support private consumption, especially of those with lower earnings, and prevent it from slowing drastically.

We expect improvement of economic growth in this year, but downward risks are considerable 

Helped primarily by the recovery of exports and investments, GDP growth in Estonia is expected to accelerate to 2.3% this year. The economies of Estonia’s main trading partners are expected to improve in 2016. This should offer more possibilities to expand exports for enterprises dependent on foreign demand. However, we expect only a modest recovery of Estonian exports. This year should offer better possibilities to export more to the European markets, while enterprises dependent on the Russian market and on global oil prices should not expect considerable improvement. There are considerable downward risks for the improvement of foreign demand. In addition, the expected decline in employment, as well as the reduced investments and labour productivity over the last few years, will afford less capacity to grow in the medium term

Source: Swedbank

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.

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ABB Estonia exported over 200 wind generators in 2016

The manufacturer of energy sector and automatics equipment ABB Eesti exported a couple of hundred wind generators with a capacity of 2 to 5 megawatts to Spain, Denmark and Germany during 2015.

“The main markets are Spain, Denmark and Germany. But we exported to countries outside Europe too, such as diesel generators for ships to South Korea,” Matti Pekkarinen, head of the electrical machines division for the Baltic countries at ABB, told BNS.

The power generators and frequency changers for wind generators are manufactured at the plant of ABB Eesti in Jüri not far from Tallinn.

“As far as manufacture and sales go, we are talking about Estonia because we have no manufacturing facilities in Latvia and Lithuania,” Pekkarinen said.

He couldn’t say how big was ABB’s revenue from Estonian exports.

Asked about ABB’s plans in Estonia for the current year, Pekkarinen said that uncertainty in the global economy is affecting also the developers of wind farms and financing of large projects has been postponed.

“Things are better in the outlook for the longer term, especially if we look at the decisions made globally and on the national level that have to do with halting climate change and support a rise in the share of renewable energy,” Pekkarinen said.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review

Exports from Estonia amounted to 1 bEUR in November

According to Statistics Estonia, in November 2015, exports of goods decreased by 4% and imports stayed on the same level compared to November 2014. The decrease in exports was mostly influenced by a decrease in mineral products and electrical equipment.

In November 2015, exports from Estonia amounted to 1 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.1 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 102 million euros and it increased by 35 million euros compared to November 2014.

The biggest share in Estonia’s exports in November was held by electrical equipment (21% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by agricultural products and food preparations (12%), and wood and products thereof (10%). The biggest decrease occurred in the exports of mineral products (down by 35 million euros) and electrical equipment (down by 30 million euros). The mineral products (incl. motor spirit, fuel oils, gas, electrical energy) exports were influenced the most by a decrease in quantity and in monetary value. Exports in the electrical equipment chapter were influenced the most by a decrease in the exports of data communications equipment. Compared to November 2014, the biggest increase occurred in the exports of miscellaneous manufactured articles and textiles and products thereof (up by 10 and 6 million euros, respectively).

In November, the main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment (18% of Estonia’s total imports), agricultural products and food preparations (11%), mechanical appliances (10%), transport equipment (10%) and mineral products (10%). The drop in imports was influenced the most by a decrease in the imports of electrical equipment and mineral products (down by 27 and 18 million euros, respectively). The imports of electrical equipment were influenced the most by a decrease in communication equipment components. The imports of mineral products were influenced the most by a decrease in oil price.

The top destination country of Estonia’s exports in November was Sweden (18% of Estonia’s total exports), followed by Finland (16%) and Latvia (10%). The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden, the USA and Spain (down by 25, 17 and 14 million euros, respectively). Exports to Sweden and Spain decreased mainly due to a decrease in the exports of electrical equipment. Exports to the USA decreased mainly due to a decrease in the exports of mineral products. At the same time, there was a significant increase in the exports to Finland and Lithuania (up by 13 and 7 million euros, respectively), mainly due to the exports of electrical equipment.

The main countries of consignment were Finland (15% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Latvia (9%), Lithuania (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest decrease occurred in imports from Poland (down by 11 million euros), Finland and Russia (both down by 10 million euros). Imports from Poland decreased mainly due to a decrease in the imports of electrical equipment; imports from Finland and Russia decreased due to the decreased imports of mineral products. At the same time, the greatest increase occurred in the imports from Lithuania (up by 17 million euros).

Read more from Statistics Estonia

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