Latvia's foreign trade rose by a third in 2022

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In 2022 as a whole, Latvia's foreign trade turnover at current prices reached EUR 47.77 billion – EUR 11.8 billion or 32.8 % more than in 2021.

Export value constituted EUR 21.27 billion (a growth of EUR 4.82 billion or 29.3 %), while import value comprised EUR 26.5 billion (a rise of EUR 6.98 billion or 35.8 %).

Provisional data from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) published February 9 also show that in December 2022 the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 4.09 billion, which at current prices was 25.3 % larger than a year ago. Of that total the exports value of goods was 9.6 % higher, but the imports value of goods was 39.8 % higher. In December Latvia exported goods to the amount of EUR 1.72 billion, but imported goods to the amount of EUR 2.37 billion.

Compared to December 2021, the foreign trade balance worsened as exports in the total foreign trade amount decreased from 48.1 % to 42 %. 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 said.

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Calendar and seasonally adjusted data show that, compared to December 2021, in December 2022 the exports value at current prices went up by 8.2 %, but the imports value – by 39.2 %, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value went down by 6.2 %, but the imports value – by 1.4 %.

The main exports partners in December were Lithuania (18.1 % of total exports), Estonia (12.7 %), Russian Federation (6.1 %) and Germany (5.5 %), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (19.4 % of total imports), Canada (11.9 %), Estonia (9.1 %) and Germany (8.8 %).

In December 2022, compared to November, exports value to Ukraine increased by EUR 0.8 million or 2.1 %. It was mainly affected by the rise of EUR 1.8 million or 11.2 % in exports of mineral products. Exports to Russian Federation went down by EUR 24.6 million or 19 %, but to Belarus – by EUR 0.4 million or 2.1 %. Drop in exports to the Russian Federation and Belarus was mainly affected by the fall in exports of prepared foodstuffs by EUR 19.8 million or 33.1 % and EUR 1.3 million or 56.2 %, respectively.

In December 2022, compared to the previous month, imports value from Ukraine decreased by EUR 9 million or 26.2 %. It was affected by the reduction of EUR 7.8 million or 58.5 % in imports of products of the chemical and allied industries. Imports from Belarus decreased by EUR 0.1 million or 0.7 %, which was mainly affected by drop in imports of animal or vegetable fats and oils by EUR 1.3 million or 13.1 %. Imports from the Russian Federation rose by EUR 119.9 million, which was mainly affected by an increase in imports of natural gas by EUR 108.8 million.

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The rise in natural gas imports is due to the fact that natural gas previously imported from the Russian Federation in December 2022 was released for free circulation. According to the methodology of foreign trade in goods, non-EU goods that are previously imported and stored in a customs warehouse are included in foreign trade only at the moment when they are released for free circulation.

In December 2022, as exports value of goods exceeded imports value of goods, foreign trade balance of Latvia was positive with 114 partner countries. It was negative in trade with 46 countries.

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