Foreign trade turnover changes in Latvia: exports drop and imports grow in May

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In May 2019, the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, which at current prices was 3.5 % more than in May 2017, of which the exports value of goods was 2.6 % lower, but imports value of goods was 8.6 % higher.

In May, Latvia exported goods in the amount of EUR 1.07 billion, but imported – in the amount of EUR 1.43 billion. Compared to May 2018, foreign trade balance has worsened as exports in total foreign trade amount decreased from 45.4 % to 42.8 %, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Over the first five months of this year, the foreign trade turnover of Latvia at current prices reached EUR 11.63 billion – EUR 576.8 million or 5.2 % more than in the corresponding period of 2018. The exports value constituted EUR 5.2 billion (an increase of EUR 107.2 million or 2.1 %), whereas the imports value – EUR 6.43 billion (an upturn of EUR 469.6 million or 7.9 %).

Calendar and seasonally adjusted data show that, when compared to May 2018, in May 2019 the exports value at current prices fell by 3.2 %, the imports value grew by 12 %, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value decreased by 2.2 %, but the imports value increased by 3.4 %.

Compared to May 2018, the main changes in exports in May 2019 included the following: exports of vegetable products up by EUR 22.1 million or 61.9 %; exports of miscellaneous manufactured articles up by EUR 6.5 million or 18.6 %; exports of machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment down by EUR 42.5 million or 19.7 %; exports of wood and articles of wood up by EUR 14.7 million or 7.3 %; exports of basic metals and articles of basic metals down by EUR 6.6 million or 6.1 %.

Compared to May 2018, the main changes in imports in May 2019 included the following: imports of vehicles and associated transport equipment up by EUR 134.6 million or 99.7 %; imports of mineral products up by EUR 24.7 million or 21.2 %; imports of products of the chemical and allied industries up by EUR 11.8 million or 9.9 %; imports of machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment down by EUR 58.5 million or 18.4 %; imports of basic metals and articles of basic metals down by EUR 15.7 million or 13 %.

In May, the main export partners of Latvia in trade with EU countries were Lithuania (17.6 % of total exports), Estonia (11.9 %), Germany (7.4 %) and Sweden (7.3 %).
The main import partners were Lithuania (16.7 % of total imports), Germany (10.9 %), Poland (8.7 %) and Estonia (8.3 %). The main partner in trade with third countries was Russia, share of which in total Latvian exports in May accounted for 8.7 %, but in imports – Canada with 9 % in total imports.

In May 2019, compared to May 2018, share of the European Union countries grew in total exports value – by 3 percentage points, but in imports value – fell by 3.8 percentage points. Rise in share of CIS countries comprised 0.4 percentage points in exports and 0.6 percentage points in imports.

In May 2019 foreign trade balance of Latvia was positive with 128 partner countries, as exports value of goods exceeded imports value of goods. It was negative in trade with 39 countries.

Compared to May 2018, rise in exports of furniture, other furnishing articles; prefabricated buildings was affected by increase in exports of mobile homes by EUR 1.3 million or 3.5 times In May 2019. But exports of machinery and mechanical appliances reduced as exports of turbojets, turbo-propellers and other gas turbines dropped by EUR 56.3 million or 98.2 %.

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