Imports

The percentage of services in Estonia's import is about 18% and various transport as well as travel services are the main import articles. As the import of transport services quite largely depends on competition and economic development – e.g. the success of the Estonian aviation company decreases the importance of the services offered by other aviation companies - the accumulating wealth of the people makes travelling around the world more and more popular.

Among the goods imported into Estionia various investment goods – engineering products and machinery as well as different vehicles and means of transport - enjoy a fairly high percentage. Raw material (fuel, metals, timber etc) has to be imported as well. Estonia naturally also imports all kinds of consumer goods: as Estonia does not produce household appliances, all these are imported, the same goes for home electronics. Various foodstuffs, clothing articles and design products are imported: mostly those of the kind not produced in Estonia. As the Estonian industry is becoming more and more multifaceted, the import of those products has slightly decreased. During the economic crisis, people’s desire to buy increased noticeably and in manufacturing there was a downturn in both exports and domestic demand, causing the demand for raw materials to decline. This led to a dramatic decline in imports, much more than in exports.

However, the prices of goods produced in Estonia are often higher than imported goods, and as Estonia has not used any major trade barriers, imported and subsidised goods have in many cases sabotaged the local production initiative.

Most imported goods come from the European Union, with the percentages from Finland, Germany and Sweden becoming equal in recent years but, earlier, Finland had the biggest percentage. Other essential countries of importation include Latvia and Lithuania.

In the past, Russia played a bigger role in Estonia’s imports than in Estonia’s exports, but now exports exceed imports in Estonian-Russian trade. From Russia, Estonian importation of fuel and raw materials is noteworthy. In addition, different goods, mostly raw materials, are imported from Ukraine and Belarus. A large percentage of the fuels that are imported from Russia are transshipped to other countries, after their value has been enhanced in Estonia. Estonia is really only dependent on Russia when it comes to natural gas, and that’s why natural gas plays only a moderate role in Estonian fuel consumption (compared to Latvia and Lithuania, for example).

Instead of Russia, Estonia now gets most of its fuel supply from Lithuania where the Mazeikiu oil refinement plant is situated, but also from Norway. Additionally, Lithuania supplies Estonia with various food products (including the majority of tobacco products) and chemical products. From Latvia, clothing products and different machines and devices are imported, in addition to food and chemical products. A lot of imported food products come from other Baltic countries (e.g. juices and dairy products), but other goods mostly tend to be brought to the Baltic countries from somewhere else, mostly from Europe.

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