Exports of both goods and services increased in July

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 49 million euros in surplus in July 2017. The surplus on the goods and services account was 87 million euros, which was 17 million euros less than a year earlier. Volumes of both goods and services increased. Goods exports were up by 8% over the year and imports by 11%, and so the deficit on the goods account increased by 34 million euros over the year to 131 million euros. The surplus on the services account was large in the summer months and stood at 218 million euros, up 17 million euros over the year. Services exports grew by 8% and imports by 7%. The net outflow of investment income and current transfers, or the primary and secondary income accounts, increased by 8 million euros to 38 million euros.

The current and capital accounts were in surplus by a total of 112 million euros, meaning that the Estonian economy was a net lender to the rest of the world, so the country as a whole invested more financial assets abroad than it received from there.

 Source: Bank of Estonia
Advertisements

Foreign trade increased faster in Estonia than in the euro area

  • The surplus on the current account of the Estonian balance of payments in 2016 was the largest since independence was regained
  • Foreign trade picked up last year as both exports and imports increased
  • Estonia is one of the few EU member states to owe less to other countries than is owed to it

According to adjusted figures, the surplus on the current account of the Estonian balance of payments in 2016 was the largest since independence was regained, amounting to 0.4 billion euros or around 2% of GDP. Exports and imports of both goods and services grew notably faster than in the euro area as a whole, as the turnover of goods and services increased by less than 1% in the euro area, but by over 4% in Estonia. As exports of goods grew faster than the imports, the deficit on the goods account narrowed to 0.8 billion euros. The surplus on services decreased slightly over the year to 1.6 billion euros.

Estonia was a net lender to the rest of the world again in 2016 as the outflow of capital exceeded the inflow by 0.4 billion euros. Capital mainly moved through portfolio investment, with the largest part of investments going into foreign securities and fund shares.

Estonia is one of the few member states of the European Union to owe less to other countries than is owed to it, and at the end of 2016 the rest of the world owed Estonia 21.5 billion euros while Estonia’s debt was 19 billion euros. This means that Estonia’s external assets exceeded external liabilities by 2.5 billion euros. The same case applies only in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium and Germany while the other European Union members have larger debts to the rest of the world than they have invested there.

The current account balance and trade in goods and services

Net external debt (debt liabilities minus debt assets) as a ratio to GDP in 2016 %

Eesti Pank publishes the balance of payments yearbook each autumn for the previous year. The balance of payments yearbook contains a detailed analysis of the three main documents containing external sector statistical data – the balance of payments, the international investment position and the gross external debt – at national and sectoral levels illustrated with tables and figures. The time series are of up to ten years. This year’s yearbook will contain a comparison of the Estonian external sector with other European countries for the third time.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Estonian current account at 67 mEUR in surplus in June 2017

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 67 million euros in surplus in June 2017. The surplus on the goods and services account was 104 million euros, which was 11 million euros more than a year earlier. Volumes of both goods and services increased. Goods exports were up by 8% over the year and imports by 6%, and so the deficit on the goods account narrowed by 8 million euros over the year to 81 million euros. Services exports were up by 5% and imports by 6%, and the surplus on the goods account widened by 4 million euros to 185 million euros. The net outflow of investment income and current transfers, or the primary and secondary income accounts, increased by 16 million euros to 37 million euros.

The current and capital accounts were in surplus by a total of 85 million euros, meaning that the Estonian economy was a net lender to the rest of the world, so the country as a whole invested more financial assets abroad than it received from there.

1 The quarterly balance of payments is compiled from a combined system of representative primary data sources, including surveys of companies, while the monthly balance of payments draws from a considerably smaller database. Although the monthly report uses as much of the data available for the month reported as possible, including administrative data sources and reports on international payments, it is subjective to a certain degree, which is why it is called an estimate. Once the quarterly balance of payments is released, the monthly balances of payments are adjusted accordingly. For more on the principles used in compiling the flash estimate, see here.

Eesti Pank publishes the flash estimate of the balance of payments monthly for the last month but one. Eesti Pank will publish the balance of payments for the second quarter of 2017 on 7 September 2017.

Statistical releases are published by Eesti Pank together with statistical data. The release is independent of economic policy releases and is presented separately from them.

Source: Bank of Estonia

An increase in imports of base metals and transport equipment

According to Statistics Estonia, in July 2017, the exports of goods increased by 6% and imports by 9% compared to July 2016. Increased imports of base metals and articles of base metal and transport equipment contributed to the growth in imports.

In July 2017, 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 197 million euros (in July 2016, it was 153 million euros).

The top destination countries of Estonia’s exports in July were Finland (15% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (14%) and Latvia (10%). Electrical equipment and base metals and articles of base metal were the main commodities exported to Finland; electrical equipment and transport equipment (incl. ships) were the main commodities exported to Sweden; mineral products (incl. electricity) and agricultural products and food preparations were the main commodities exported to Latvia. The biggest increase occurred in exports to Germany (up by 19 million euros), Russia and Turkey (up by 13 million euros to both). In exports to Germany, the exports of electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment), to Russia, the exports of mechanical appliances and to Turkey, the exports of metal waste increased. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to the Netherlands (down by 12 million euros), where less mineral products (incl. shale oil) were exported.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and articles of wood, agricultural products and food preparations, mineral products and mechanical appliances. The greatest increase was in the exports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (up by 16 million euros), wood and articles of wood (up by 13 million euros), and transport equipment (up by 12 million euros). At the same time, the exports of electrical equipment and mineral products decreased.

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 71% in July. The rise in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by an increase in the exports of raw materials and products of chemical industry (incl. caulking compounds, other mastics), wood and articles of wood (incl. coniferous saw-timber) and mechanical appliances (incl. conveyors).

The main countries of consignment in July 2017 were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%) and Lithuania (9%). The main commodities imported were electrical equipment and mineral products (incl. motor spirits, electricity) from Finland; mechanical appliances and transport equipment from Germany; mineral products and agricultural products and food preparations from Lithuania. The biggest increase occurred in imports from Poland (up by 17 million euros), Finland (up by 12 million euros) and Latvia (up by 11 million euros). In imports from Poland, the imports of transport equipment, and from Finland and Latvia, the imports of base metals and articles of base metal increased. Imports from Hungary decreased the most.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations. The biggest increase was in the imports of base metals and articles of base metal and transport equipment, and the biggest fall occurred in the imports of electrical equipment.

In July 2017, the foreign trade export volume index increased by 3% and the import volume index by 10% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2015–2017

Read more from Statistics Estonia

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment

According to Statistics Estonia, in June 2017, the exports of goods increased by 11% and imports by 6% compared to June 2016. In the second quarter, compared to the 2nd quarter of the previous year, exports grew 8% and imports 7%.

In June 2017, exports from Estonia amounted to 1.1 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.2 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 123 million euros (in June 2016, it was 156 million euros).

The top destination countries of Estonia’s exports in June were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (14%) and Latvia (9%). The biggest increase occurred in exports to the Netherlands (up by 34 million euros), Russia (up by 29 million euros) and Germany (up by 21 million euros). In exports to the Netherlands, the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil), to Russia, the exports of mechanical appliances and to Germany, the exports of electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) and metal waste increased. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden (down by 30 million euros), where less electrical equipment was exported.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by mineral products, and wood and articles of wood. The greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (up by 51 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 25 million euros), and wood and articles of wood (up by 22 million euros). At the same time, the exports of electrical equipment decreased (down by 48 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72% in June. In June 2017, the exports of goods of Estonian origin increased 8% and re-exports 18%. The rise in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by an increase in the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil, electricity) and wood and articles of wood (incl. coniferous saw-timber, wooden windows and doors).

The main countries of consignment in June 2017 were Finland (13% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Lithuania (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Sweden (up by 28 million euros), Latvia, the Netherlands and France (all up by 10 million euros). Imports from Hungary decreased the most.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, transport equipment, and agricultural products and food preparations. The biggest increase was in the imports of transport equipment and base metals and articles of base metal, and the biggest fall occurred in the imports of electrical equipment.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, exports of goods from Estonia amounted to 3.3 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 3.7 billion euros. The trade deficit in the 2nd quarter was 447 million euros (in the 2nd quarter of 2016, it was 460 million euros). In the first half-year, exports of goods increased by 10% and imports by 11% compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, the growth in exports compared to the same period of the previous year was supported by increased exports of mineral products (up by 141 million euros), wood and articles of wood (up by 47 million euros), and base metals and articles of base metal (up by 37 million euros), which also compensated for the decline in the exports of electrical equipment (down by 83 million euros). In the comparison by countries, exports have increased the most to Russia, the Netherlands and Germany. At the same time, exports to Sweden have decreased the most.

In the 2nd quarter, the growth in imports was significantly affected by an increase in the imports of transport equipment (up by 101 million euros), mineral products (up by 70 million euros) and raw materials and products of chemical industry (up by 45 million euros). The imports of electrical equipment decreased significantly (down by 73 million euros). By countries, imports in the 2nd quarter of 2017 compared to the 2nd quarter of 2016 grew the most from Russia, Sweden and Turkey. Imports from Hungary decreased the most.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Exports of both goods and services increased in May

The flash estimate1 put the Estonian current account at 42 million euros in surplus in May 2017. The surplus on the goods and services account was 76 million euros, which was 7 million euros more than a year earlier. Goods exports were up by 12% over the year and imports by 10%, meaning the deficit on the goods account narrowed by 13 million euros to 85 million euros. The surplus on the services account was 161 million euros, which was 5 million euros less than at the same time a year earlier. Services exports grew by 5% and imports by 10%. The net outflow on the primary and secondary income accounts increased by 14 million euros to 34 million euros.

The current and capital accounts were in surplus by a total of 21 million euros, meaning that the Estonian economy was a net lender to the rest of the world, so the country as a whole invested more financial assets abroad than it received from there.

1The quarterly balance of payments is compiled from a combined system of representative primary data sources, including surveys of companies, while the monthly balance of payments draws from a considerably smaller database. Although the monthly report uses as much of the data available for the month reported as possible, including administrative data sources and reports on international payments, it is subjective to a certain degree, which is why it is called an estimate. Once the quarterly balance of payments is released, the monthly balances of payments are adjusted accordingly. For more on the principles used in compiling the flash estimate, see http://statistika.eestipank.ee/failid/mbo/kiir_mb_eng.html.

Source: Bank of Estonia 

In May, trade intensified due to exports and imports of mineral products

According to Statistics Estonia, in May 2017, the exports of goods increased by 15% and imports by 14% compared to May 2016. Trade growth was influenced the most by a significant increase in the exports and imports of mineral products.

In May 2017, exports from Estonia amounted to 1.2 billion euros and imports to Estonia to 1.3 billion euros at current prices. The trade deficit was 153 million euros (in May 2016, it was 147 million euros).

The top destination countries of Estonia’s exports in May were Finland (16% of Estonia’s total exports), Sweden (14%) and Latvia (9%). The biggest increase occurred in exports to Russia (up by 28 million euros), Canada (up by 23 million euros), Saudi Arabia (up by 20 million euros) and Germany (up by 20 million euros). Exports to Russia and Canada grew mainly due to re-exports but to Saudi Arabia and Germany due to increased exports of goods of Estonia origin. In exports to Russia, the exports of mechanical appliances (incl. excavators, wood and ores processing machines), to Canada, the exports of mineral products (incl. motor spirit), to Saudi Arabia, the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil) and agricultural products (incl. feed barley) and to Germany, the exports of electrical equipment (incl. communication equipment) increased. The biggest decrease occurred in exports to Sweden (down by 39 million euros), where less electrical equipment was exported.

The biggest share in exports was held by electrical equipment, followed by wood and articles of wood, and mineral products. The greatest increase was in the exports of mineral products (up by 53 million euros), agricultural products and food preparations (up by 28 million euros), mechanical appliances (up by 28 million euros), and wood and articles of wood (up by 24 million euros). At the same time, the exports of electrical equipment decreased (down by 43 million euros).

The share of goods of Estonian origin in total exports was 72% in May. In May 2017, the exports of goods of Estonian origin increased 12% and re-exports 25%. The rise in the exports of goods of Estonian origin was affected the most by an increase in the exports of mineral products (incl. shale oil, electricity), wood and articles of wood (incl. coniferous saw-timber, wood pellets), agricultural products and food preparations (incl. cereals) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (incl. furniture and log houses).

The main countries of consignment in May 2017 were Finland (12% of Estonia’s total imports), Germany (11%), Lithuania (9%) and Sweden (9%). The biggest increase occurred in imports from Russia (up by 41 million euros) and Sweden (up by 17 million euros). Mostly mineral products (incl. motor spirit, fuel oil) were imported from Russia and transport equipment and mineral products (incl. bitumen) from Sweden. Imports from Hungary decreased the most, with less electrical equipment imported.

The main commodities imported to Estonia were electrical equipment, mineral products, transport equipment, agricultural products and food preparations, and mechanical appliances. The biggest increase was in the imports of mineral products and base metals and articles of base metals, and the biggest fall occurred in the imports of electrical equipment.

In May 2017, the foreign trade export volume index increased by 1% and the import volume index by 11% compared to the same period of the previous year.Estonia’s foreign trade by month, 2015–2017

Read more from Statistics Estonia