Foreign trade in goods
Foreign trade data provide composite information on cross-country trade in breakdown by type of commodities (divisions) and by country group. Foreign trade data are used for identifying country’s trade partners and principle exports and imports.
On 11 June 2019 previously published data on exports and imports of electricity were changed, starting with data on 2014 when majority of enterprises started carrying out transactions with electricity using mediation of European Power Exchange “Nord Pool Spot AS”.
Applying new methodology to carry out harmonization of previous data and further accounting of electricity, following data sources were used:
1) monthly information from transmission system operator on transmission of electricity across the Latvian border (including transported via country) by partner countries. That means amount of physical flow of electricity expressed in MWh;
2) average monthly price indicated by Power Exchange for calculation of value of physical flow of electricity in euros.
Concepts and definitions
Merchandise exports are shown in current FOB values (price of commodity including transportation and insurance costs up to the border of the exporting country), according to the special trade system (without commodity flows from customs warehouses and free economic zones) and indicating the country of ultimate destination.
Data are compiled in compliance with so-called National principle, which unlike so-called Community principle does not include information on exports of goods, which certain EU Member State sells in certain third country (which is not EU member state) through Latvia, but starting from 2008 it does not include also data on commodity dispatches to certain EU Member State, which through Latvia imports goods from other third country, although in all mentioned cases customs declarations are lodged in Latvia.
Total volume of foreign trade exports includes the following flows of goods:
- goods which were exported for sale abroad,
- goods which were exported for processing abroad, undertaking liabilities regarding re-importation,
- imported goods which were exported abroad after processing,
- reexports, i.e. goods imported to Latvia for consumption which were exported back abroad.
Merchandise imports are shown in current CIF values (price of commodity including transportation and insurance costs up to the border of the importing country) according to the special trade system (without commodity flows to customs warehouses and free economic zones); in imports from the third countries indicating the last known country of origin (if it is not known, the country of consignment). From 2004 the arrival of goods from EU Member States is classified to the indicated country of consignment.
Data are compiled in compliance with so-called National principle, which unlike so-called Community principle does not include information on imports of goods, which certain EU Member State carries out in certain third country (which is not EU Member State) through Latvia, but starting from 2008 it does not include also data on commodity arrivals from certain EU Member State, which through Latvia exports goods to other third country, although in all mentioned cases customs declarations are lodged in Latvia.
Total volume of foreign trade imports includes the following flows of goods:
- goods which are declared for consumption in Latvia,
- goods which are imported for processing, undertaking liabilities regarding re-exportation,
- exported goods which were imported after processing abroad.
EU-15 – 15 member states of European Union: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.
EU-25 – EU-15 and Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia after EU enlargement on 1 May 2004.
EU-27 (2007-2013) – EU-25 and Romania and Bulgaria after EU enlargement on 1 January 2007.
EU-28 – EU-27 (2007-2013) and Croatia after enlargement of the EU on 1 July 2013.
EU-27 (as of 2020) – 27 Member States of the European Union, i.e., all countries of the EU-28 except for United Kingdom after it stopped being the member of the EU on 31 January 2020.
Third countries are countries that are not members of the European Union.
CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)
Commonwealth of Independent States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia (since September 2009 no longer belongs to the CIS), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan (associate member), Ukraine (associate member), Uzbekistan.
Data collection and statistical processing
Survey method and data source
To acquired foreign trade data enterprise survey is conducted:
- full-scope survey on trade with third countries;
- sample survey on trade with EU member states by a certain parameter, calculations, creating a threshold sample.
Foreign trade source data are:
- CSB INTRASTAT monthly surveys from enterprises in trade with EU countries – INTRASTAT-1A, INSTRASTAT-1B, INSTRASTAT- 2A, INSTRASTAT-2B;
- State Joint Stock Company Latvian Maritime Administration data of the integrated Ship Database of Latvia on:
- Ships and yachts registered and deleted from the Latvian Ship Register;
- Registered owners and charterers;
- Main data of ships and yachts, registered and cleared legal burden. This information is used for collecting and analysing data on ships, which in line with Article 17 of Chapter 5 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1982/ 2004 of 18 November 2004 are considered as special commodities for the transportation of which special regulations are applied.
- Civil Aviation Agency data on aircrafts (date of registration/ deletion, type, serial number, manufacturer, year of manufacture, name of operator and contact details), registered and deleted from the Register of Aircrafts of the Civil Aviation Aircraft Register of the Republic of Latvia in the event the operators which are also owners or financial lease holders are legal persons. This information is used for collection and analysis of data on aircrafts which in line with Article 17 of Chapter 5 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1982/2004 of 18 November 2004 are considered as special commodities, for the transportation of which special regulations are applied;
- Data of the Single Administrative Document of the State Revenue Service Customs Board. This information is used for elaborating on overview of trade with third countries, as well as for supplementing Intrastat data with transactions in trade with EU Member States, carried out under customs control (IntraMuita);
- State Revenue Service data storage system. It contains information on acquisitions/deliveries of goods from/to the EU countries from VAT declaration (row 45, 46, 47, 481, 50 and 51), as well as from Supplement 1 Part II to VAT declaration, Supplement 2 and Supplement 3
Exports and imports of electricity. Until 2013 inclusive, statistical data on foreign trade of electricity were obtained from Intrastat reports and customs declarations. After entering European Power Exchange “Nord Pool Spot AS”, transactions in Latvia were not concluded directly between buyer and seller anymore. Therefore, complete information on imports and exports of electricity could not be obtained anymore, of which also on partner country. To reduce impact of these factors on the quality of statistical data on foreign trade of electricity and ensure harmonization with indicators of energy balance, recalculation was made on data starting with 2014.
Considering characteristics of electricity as of a specific product, it was needed to use two data sources of accounting of electricity:
- monthly information from transmission system operator on transmission of electricity across the Latvian border (including transported via country) by partner countries. That means amount of physical flow of electricity expressed in MWh;
- average monthly price indicated by Power Exchange for calculation of value of physical flow of electricity in euros.
Payers of Value Added Tax (VAT) of EU Member States delivering/acquiring commodities or representatives of these persons in tax issues and:
- persons delivering/acquiring commodities to/from EU Member States and having concluded an agreement, except transportation agreement, in line with which the commodities are delivered/acquired,
- persons delivering/acquiring commodities to/from EU Member States or have them delivered/acquired,
- persons having commodities to be delivered/acquired to/from EU Member States in tenure.
Sample for 2018 has been formed and optimised on the basis of exemption thresholds and specific thresholds set by the CSB. Exemption thresholds and specific thresholds are set separately for arrived and dispatched commodities so that the data acquired by the means of INTRASTAT surveys would cover at least 93% of the imports and 97% of the exports of the total trade volume between Latvia and EU member states.
The following classifications are applied for foreign trade data:
- EU Combined Nomenclature;
- Customs authorities classification;
- Customs regime classification;
- Classification of the mode of transport (customs records);
- Classification of the nature of transactions;
- Nomenclature of countries and territories for the external trade statistics of the Community and statistics of trade between Member States.
Previous data are corrected each month.
Foreign trade data are subject to revision plan, which foresees two mandatory data revisions. The first data revision takes place strictly by schedule – after 3 months together with publishing data for the current month. Schedule for the second revision is flexible depending on the volume of the collected data, but no later than in August of the following reporting year.
Calendar and seasonal adjustment
A time series is a sequence of observations collected at regular time intervals, for example, a monthly time series. It characterises indicator changes or development thereof. Seasonality and calendar effects are present in a large number of economic time series.
Seasonality or seasonal fluctuations of time series mean those movements, which recur with similar intensity in the same season each year. For example, each year Christmas shopping time can be observed in time series reflecting retail sales statistics. Change of seasons, social habits and influence of institutional factors are among the main causes of seasonality.
The calendar effects cover influence of calendar on time series. It is impact left by differing number of working days (or Mondays, Tuesdays and other days of the week) in months on changes of indicator. For example, number of working days differing among the months may affect goods produced time series.
When the time series are influenced by seasonality or calendar effects, it may be difficult to get clear understanding on indicator changes over the time. Seasonal adjustment is made to eliminate seasonal fluctuations and calendar effects in time series.
As a result seasonally adjusted time series, from which seasonality and calendar effects have been removed, are produced. It means that seasonally adjusted time series provide an estimate for what is “new” in the series, for example turning points in trends, business cycle or irregular component. Moreover seasonal adjustment results in calendar adjusted time series, in which calendar effects or varying number of working days in months has been eliminated. Specifics of seasonally adjusted statistics allows improving data comparability over time:
- Seasonally adjusted time series do not contain seasonal fluctuations and calendar effects, thus it is possible to compare, for example, data on the current month with the previous month's data.
- Calendar adjusted time series are not influenced by calendar effects and are used to compare, for example, statistics on current month with the data on corresponding month of the previous year.
The seasonal adjustment is made taking into account seasonal adjustment guidelines developed by the European Statistical System.
Contact person on methodology
Foreign Trade Statistics Methodology, Analysis and Dissemination Section
Deputy Section Head