Foreign Trade of Estonia
Estonia’s exports break all records
The volume of Estonia’s imports and exports in 2011 reached record levels unseen since Estonia joined the European Union in 2004.
Exports of goods totaled EUR 12 billion in 2011, which is EUR 3,3 billion or 38% more than a year earlier, while imports totaled EUR 12.6 billion, an increase of EUR 3,3 billion or by 37%. Estonia’s trade deficit in 2011 amounted to EUR 600 million, which is EUR 100 million more than in 2010.
* Turnover of all goods showed increases in 2011. Estonia’s largest export was machinery and equipment (27% of Estonia’s total export of goods in 2011), followed by mineral products and electricity (17%) and metals and products thereof (9%). Estonia’s export growth was mainly due to machinery and equipment (an increase of 67% or by EUR 1.3 billion) as well as growth of mineral product exports (by 51% or by EUR 700 million).
* Machinery and equipment also comprised the largest part of Estonia’s imports (27% of total imports) followed by mineral products (18%) and agricultural products and food preparations (10%). Growth was posted by all product groups. As with export volumes, import growth was driven by imports of machinery and equipment, which, compared to a year earlier, increased by EUR 1.3 billion or 58%. Imports of mineral products increased significantly, by 41% or EUR 700 million.
Main partners: The Scandinavian countries
* 66% of Estonia’s total exports are to the EU countries, 13% to CIS countries. As in earlier years, Estonia’s main export partners are the Scandinavian countries: 16% of Estonia’s total exports go to Sweden, 15% to Finland. The third largest export market is Russia (11% of Estonian exports). The nearest neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania, are also major export markets, with a total of 12% of Estonia’s exports going to these countries. Export volumes increased in 2011 to all target countries, but most significantly, to Sweden and Russia (by EUR 500 million). Electrical equipment, wood and wood products were mainly exported to Sweden and Finland, machinery and electrical equipment, as well as beverages and strong alcoholic beverages – to Russia.
* The largest part of Estonia’s imports (37%) came from the CIS countries and 34% from the EU countries. The main sources of imports were Finland (13% of the total), Latvia and Sweden (11% from each). Import growth was driven mainly by import growth from Latvia and Sweden (by EUR 300 million each). Electrical equipment, motor fuel and heating fuel were mainly imported from Finland and Latvia, electrical equipment and vehicle – from Sweden.
* The Estonian Finance Ministry forecasts moderate export growth for 2012–2015, on average by 5,5%–7% per annum. The forecast is that in 2012, exports with increase by 6,7%, but exports will rise by 7%.
* Estonia, which like Latvia and Lithuania, has its export markets mainly in the EU countries, and whose economic recovery is mainly driven by exports, is worried about the uncertainty in the eurozone and the so-called debt crisis.
* The latest available research (a study by Enterprise Estonia analyst Tanel Rebane), which analyzed more that 10 000 exporting companies in Estonia showed that a relatively small number of companies contributed to the recent economic and export growth. The TOP 500 companies in 2010 exported goods for EUR 5,4 bilion, which was 62% of Estonia’s total exports and is equivalent to the Estonian state budget. On average, export revenue for one company was EUR 10,7 million.
Statistics Estonia – www.stat.ee
The Ministry of Finance of Estonia – www.fin.ee
Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – www.koda.ee
Estonian Investment and Trade Agency – www.investinestonia.com
Enterprise Estonia – www.eas.ee