Latvia's foreign trade bounced back in January

Provisional data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) March 14 show that trade performed strongly in January compared to the previous year.

In January 2022 the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 2.95 billion, which at current prices was 32.9 % larger than a year ago, with the exports value of goods 29.6 % higher, but imports value of goods 35.8 % higher.

In January Latvia exported goods in the amount of EUR 1.37 billion, but imported EUR 1.58 billion. Compared to January 2021, foreign trade balance worsened as exports in total foreign trade amount decreased from 47.6 % to 46.4 %.

"It should be taken into account that the data on foreign trade in goods are reflected in actual prices and are calculated on the basis of the value of goods in euros and not their physical quantity," the CSB noted.

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Calendar and seasonally adjusted data show that, compared to January 2021, in January 2022 the exports value at current prices went up by 26.7 %, but the imports value – by 30.6 %, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value went down by 1.4 %, but the imports value – went up by 13.2 %.

Main changes in exports in January 2022, compared to January 2021:

Main changes in imports in January 2022, compared to January 2021:

The main exports partners in January were Lithuania (16.4 % of total exports), Estonia (12.8 %), Germany (7.7 %) and the Russian Federation (6.5 %), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (17.5 % of total imports), Russian Federation (12.2 %), Germany (10.1 %) and Poland (9.1 %). The imposition of swingeing sanctions against Russia following its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine will inevitably impact this list in coming months. 

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An increase in exports of wood and wood products was observed in all major markets: Germany, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Estonia. The United Kingdom remains the largest export market, accounting for 22% of total exports of timber and timber products. In January of this year, the largest increase in timber exports was recorded to the United Kingdom. Significantly, that exports of timber and timber products also rose sharply to France, Italy and Japan. This trend has been observed since the middle of last year, which indicates the acquisition of a new export market, according to the Finance Ministry.

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