Press Release

In March foreign trade turnover of Latvia was 5.1 % less than a year ago

Provisional data of the Central Statistical Bureau show that in March 2020 the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 2.42 billion, which at current prices was 5.1 % less than a year ago, of which the exports value of goods dropped by 0.7 %, but imports value of goods – by 8.4 %. In March, Latvia exported goods in the amount of EUR 1.1 billion, but imported – in the amount of EUR 1.32 billion. Compared to March 2019, foreign trade balance has improved slightly as exports in total foreign trade amount increased from 43.4 % to 45.4 %.

During the first quarter of this year foreign trade turnover of Latvia at current prices reached EUR 6.87 billion – EUR 20.3 million or 0.3 % more than in the corresponding period of the previous year. The exports value constituted EUR 3.23 billion (a growth of EUR 110.1 million or 3.5 %), whereas the imports value comprised EUR 3.64 billion (a drop of EUR 89.8 million or 2.4 %).

Calendar and seasonally adjusted data show that, compared to March 2019, in March 2020 the exports value at current prices went down by 3 % and the imports value by 12.3 %, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value went down by 3.2 % and the imports value by 3 %.

Main changes in exports in March 2020, compared to March 2019:

Main changes in imports in March 2020, compared to March 2019:

In March 2020, as compared to February, epidemiological crisis caused by coronavirus Covid-19 had affected trade with certain specific goods. Thus, imports of protective oral-nasal masks rose from EUR 473.7 thousand to EUR 1.2 million. Mainly, they were imported from China (57.8 % or in amount of EUR 709.1 thousand) and from Sweden (16.7 % or in amount of EUR 204.3 thousand). In turn, both exports and imports of medicines have increased. Exports rose by EUR 13 million or 51.4 % and imports – by EUR 10.9 million or 26.2 %. Most of medicines were exported to Lithuania (13.2 %), Estonia (9.9 %), Germany (9.8 %) and Russia (9.1 %). Largest imports of medicines were from Lithuania (38.1 %), Poland (7.8 %) and Switzerland (7.6 %).

In March, the main export partners of Latvia in trade with EU countries were Lithuania (15.4 % of total exports), Estonia (12.3 %), Germany (7.1 %) and Sweden (6.6 %), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (17.4 % of total imports), Germany (12.1 %), Poland (11.3 %) and Estonia (7.7 %). Russia was the main partner in trade with third countries; its share in total Latvian exports in March accounted for 8.4 %, whereas in imports – for 5.6 %.

In March 2020, compared to March 2019, share of the European Union countries in total exports value fell by 0.4 percentage points, but in imports value – grew by 6.9 percentage points. Share of CIS countries in exports rose by 0.9 percentage points and 0.1 percentage point in imports.

Foreign trade of Latvia in March 2020 by country group
(at current prices)

 

Exports

Imports

 

million EUR

% of

total

changes as %, compared to March 2019

million EUR

% of

total

changes as %, compared to March 2019

Total

1 098.5

100

-0.7

1 318.7

100

-8.4

European Union countries*

732.9

66.7

-1.3

1 043.4

79.1

0.3

euro area countries

527.9

48.1

-2.1

762.7

57.8

1.1

CIS countries

137.5

12.5

7.1

114.2

8.7

-8.2

other countries

228.1

20.8

-3.1

161.1

12.2

-41.7

*As of 1 February 2020 the United Kingdom is not included in the European Union.

In March 2020 foreign trade balance of Latvia was positive with 118 partner countries, as exports value of goods exceeded imports value of goods. It was negative in trade with 45 countries.

Balance of foreign trade of Latvia
(difference between value of goods exports and imports, million euros)

 

The rise in exports of cereals in March 2020, as compared to March 2019, was facilitated by an increase in exports of wheat and meslin by EUR 12.6 million or 37.1 % (majority was exported to Nigeria – EUR 33.5 million). In turn, reduction in exports of mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation was mostly influenced by decrease of exports of electricity by EUR 6.8 million or 50 %.

Main commodities in exports of Latvia in March 2020
(at current prices)

 

thousand EUR

% of

total

Changes as %, compared to

March 2019

February 2020

average of previous 12 months

Total

1 098 469

100

-0.7

3.5

1.5

wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal

181 572

16.5

-14.8

-0.4

-0.3

electrical machinery and equipment

115 305

10.5

3.6

-9.6

-1.3

machinery and mechanical appliances

62 248

5.7

-5.0

-0.9

-5.0

cereals

53 770

4.9

39.0

86.7

19.6

vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof

48 982

4.5

-24.2

-16.1

-15.0

pharmaceutical products

47 081

4.3

20.3

44.4

19.8

beverages, spirits and vinegar

44 957

4.1

-2.1

2.6

-18.2

iron and steel

44 074

4.0

-5.7

2.8

26.6

mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation

42 002

3.8

-25.3

-1.7

-11.3

articles of iron or steel

40 372

3.7

0.5

4.4

7.6

The rise in imports of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in March 2020, as compared to March 2019, was facilitated by an increase in imports of whiskey by EUR 3.6 million or 31.9 %. In turn, reduction in imports of iron and steel was mostly influenced by drop in imports of flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel by EUR 3.6 million or 13.6 %.

Main commodities in imports of Latvia in March 2020
(at current prices)

 

thousand EUR

% of

total

Changes as %, compared to

March 2019

February 2020

average of previous 12 months

Total

1 318 690

100

-8.4

14.1

-0.4

electrical machinery and equipment

137 805

10.5

5.9

-3.4

-3.3

machinery and mechanical appliances

128 978

9.8

0.9

7.0

2.8

vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof

107 289

8.1

-7.0

22.7

-1.2

mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation

71 647

5.4

-13.2

12.9

-36.0

pharmaceutical products

64 429

4.9

1.1

29.1

20.1

plastics and articles thereof

57 911

4.4

4.1

14.6

8.2

beverages, spirits and vinegar

49 184

3.7

11.0

44.9

1.6

wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal

48 660

3.7

-10.0

15.2

4.3

iron and steel

42 577

3.2

-14.9

-0.3

-6.1

articles of iron or steel

35 139

2.7

7.6

13.9

6.3

More information on the foreign trade of Latvia by month and quarter, as well as by country group and commodity group is available in the “Foreign trade” section of the CSB database.

 

Media requests:
Communication Section

E-mail: media@csb.gov.lv
Phone: +371 67366989, +371 27880666

More information on data:
Lilita Laganovska
Foreign Trade Statistics Section
E-mail: Lilita.Laganovska@csb.gov.lv
Phone: +371 67366604

 

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