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Estonia Trading Profile: Imports, Exports and More

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In this economic guide to Estonia we’ll give you an overview of the Estonian economy, including the country’s primary imports and exports of goods and services.

Estonia Economy Overview

The Republic of Estonia garnered the 101st spot in the world when it came to GDP, according to the most recent data.

Estonia border neighbors are Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Latvia.

estonia map
Estonia Map via Wikimedia (public domain)

Estonia posted a negative trade balance of -$3.39 billion with exports totaling $17.6 billion and imports of $21 billion. Per capita, imports were also higher ($15.9k) than exports ($13.3k).

GDP of Estonia

Estonia’s total GDP was $30.7 billion, ranking it in the near the middle of 196 countries. Globally, this northeastern European country ranks 77th in total exports and 76th in imports.

Estonia is the 24th most complex economy in the world, according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI).

Estonia’s Top 5 Commodity Exports

Estonia’s top commodity exports are:

  1. Refined Petroleum for $1.14 billion
  2. Coal Tar Oil for $692 million
  3. Sawn Wood for $383 million
  4. Wood Carpentry for $341 million
  5. Fuel Wood for $270 million

Estonia sends most of its exports to neighboring countries: Finland ($2.33 billion), Sweden ($1.72 billion), Russia ($1.54 billion), and Latvia ($1.35 billion). But it also sends $1.21 billion to the United States ($1.21 billion)

Estonia’s Other Notable Exports

Other top Estonian exports include:

  • Broadcasting Equipment for $1.18 billion
  • Cars for $524 million
  • Prefabricated Buildings for $465 million
  • Telephones for $275 million
  • Electrical Transformers for $271 million

Estonia’s Top 5 Commodity Imports

The top commodity imports of Estonia are:

  1. Refined Petroleum for $1.82 billion
  2. Coal Tar Oil for $606 million
  3. Sawn Wood for $390 million
  4. Mixed Mineral or Chemical Fertilizers for $345 million
  5. Petroleum Gas for $150 million

As with its exports, Estonia’s imports benefit its neighbors first and foremost. It’s largest imports come from Russia ($2.45 billion), Finland ($1.79 billion), Lithuania ($1.46 billion), and Latvia ($1.45 billion). Its EU partner Germany also sent a hefty $2.22 billion in goods to Estonia.

Estonia’s Other Notable Imports

The rest of Estonia’s top imports are:

  • Cars for $1,33 billion
  • Broadcasting Equipment for $440 million
  • Packaged Medicaments for $402 million
  • Integrated Circuits for $335 million
  • Telephones for $256 million

Details About Estonia’s Imports/Exports

Let’s get into more details on Estonia’s imports and exports.

Refined Petroleum

Estonia was the 57th largest exporter of Refined Petroleum, ranking it just above Cote d’Ivoire.

This former Soviet-bloc country sends a large portion of its Refined Petroleum to the US ($234 million), but other destinations include Saudi Arabia ($136 million), Nigeria ($83.5 million), Togo ($70.7 million), and the Netherlands ($68.3 million).

However, on the whole, Estonia imports more Refined Petroleum than it exports:

  • $1.82 billion in imports
  • $1.14 billion in exports

Estonia ranks 73rd for global imports of Refined Petroleum. It comes from Russia ($898 million), Lithuania ($500 million), Finland ($251 million), the United Kingdom ($30.9 million), and Denmark ($23 million).

Coal Tar Oil

Coal Tar Oil is another commodity which Estonia both imports and exports. Exports totaled $692 million, making it a heavy hitter for that commodity. Estonia ranks 12th globally for Coal Tar exports.

Destinations for Estonia’s Coal Tar Oil include Singapore ($294 million), the Netherlands ($84.6 million), Latvia ($60.8 million), Switzerland ($54.4 million), and the United States ($48.7 million).

Incoming Coal Tar Oil imports totaled $606 million for Estonia, giving it a deficit with exports of around -$86 million. Estonia is the 13th biggest importer of Coal Tar Oil worldwide.

Estonia’s imports of Coal Tar Oil came from Belarus ($305 million), Russia ($250 million), Denmark ($18.7 million), Ukraine ($16.2 million), and Finland ($13.5 million).

All figures based on OEC/IMF 2018 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.

A Few Interesting Facts About Estonia

  • Estonia joined the EU and NATO in 2004.
  • Estonia is a mineral powerhouse with stores of oil shale, peat, phosphorites, limestone, dolomites, and other valuable commodities.
  • Traditional Estonian dishes include leavened rye bread, stews, berry jams, pickled gherkins, pearl barley, potato porridge, headcheese, and salt herring.

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