So desired and needed by Latvia, its export has failed: volume of foreign deliveries in 2016 decreased by 0.3% compared to 2015. Of course, the recession is small and there is no need to talk about disaster, but the trend is still alarming.
In 2016, Latvia has sold goods on foreign markets for 10.332 billion EUR, which is by 30.9 million EUR less than in 2015.
As for imports, there was also a decline - by 1.7%. Latvia imported goods for 12.279 billion EUR, which is by 212.9 million EUR less than a year before.
Last year, there was a drop in the value of commodity exports to Lithuania, Poland and Algeria. In Lithuania and Poland, mineral products from Latvia were bought less, demand for textiles fell in Poland, and purchases of Latvian grain declined in Algeria.
In turn, the value of commodity exports has increased most in the direction of such markets as Germany (cereals, rape, fish, vehicles), Denmark (cereals, fish, equipment and machinery, furniture) and Sweden (construction materials).
By the end of the year, demand for Latvian products in Russia also increased. Stabilization of Russian economy, its returning growth have led to impressive increase in December exports to Russian Federation and other CIS countries by 16.7%. And this is even in the face of persisting sanctions/counter-sanctions.
Most of all in 2016 Latvia exported wood, its products and charcoal, electrical appliances and electrical equipment. In imports, the largest share was made up by the same electrical appliances and electrical equipment, followed by mechanisms and mechanical devices.
This year it is expected that the drop in export prices will stop, and the value of Latvian exports will get out of negative area. Growth in Europe will be stable, and accordingly, foreign demand will increase, which will allow for faster growth in exports.
In fact, a small decline in turnover was recorded not only in Latvia. Lithuanian exports amounted to 22.609 bln EUR last year, and imports – 24.836 bln EUR, respectively, by 1.3% and 2.2% less than in 2015.
The greatest impact on reduction of Lithuanian exports was made by a decrease in the volume of exported petroleum products. And the reduction in imports is due to a drop in natural gas supplies. It is interesting that despite the difficult political relations Russia was the most important export partner of Lithuania (13.5% of total exports).
Meanwhile, Estonia has demonstrated growth. Export and import of goods in Estonia has increased by 3% in 2016, the last time such a rise was recorded in 2012.