Record exports in latest Latvian foreign trade figures

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Provisional data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in September 2022 the foreign trade turnover of Latvia amounted to EUR 4.61 billion, which at current prices was 34.2 % larger than a year ago, of which the exports value of goods was 32.3 % higher, but imports value of goods was 35.9 % higher. 

In September Latvia exported goods worth EUR 2.14 billion, which is the highest export value on record, but imported goods worth EUR 2.47 billion.

Compared to September 2021, the foreign trade balance has worsened as exports in the total foreign trade amount decreased from 47.1 % 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," said the CSB.

During the first nine months of this year foreign trade turnover of Latvia at current prices reached EUR 34.83 billion – EUR 8.86 billion or 34.1 % more than in the corresponding period of 2021. The exports value constituted EUR 15.42 billion (a growth of EUR 3.72 billion or 31.9 %), whereas the imports value comprised EUR 19.42 billion (a rise of EUR 5.14 billion or 36 %).

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Calendar and seasonally adjusted data show that, compared to September 2021, in September 2022 the exports value at current prices went up by 31.9 %, but the imports value – by 38.5 %, whereas, compared to the previous month, the exports value went up by 2.7 %, but the imports value – went down by 1.1 %.

The main exports partners in September were Lithuania (18.6 % of total exports), Estonia (9.8 %), Germany (6.4 %) and Netherlands (6 %), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (27.3 % of total imports), Estonia (13.5 %), Poland (9.5 %) and Germany (8.5 %).

A statement from the Finance Ministry in response to the figures suggested that inflation lies behind a significant portion of the high numbers.

"One of the main reasons for such a rapid growth of goods exports was the rise in prices. Data for September are not yet available, but data for August show that the export unit value index increased by 21.3% during the year. Applying the increase in export prices recorded in August to the September goods export data, in real terms (ie excluding the effect of prices), goods exports increased by 11.0% in September. However, in the first nine months, the real growth of exports was 9.5%," said the Finance Ministry.

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