Russia trade drops sharply in May

Provisional data released by the Latvian national statistics office Thursday showed a marked decline in exports to one of Latvia's major trading partners, Russia, during May.

“In May, compared to April, exports to Russia decreased by €14m or 16.5%. Prepared foodstuffs experienced the largest drop of €3.3m and vegetable products of €2.7m or 61.4%, said Latvian Statistics in its regular update.

Chemical and allied industries also saw a major downturn with exports down by €2.4m or 26.6%.

As a result, Russia's total share of Latvian exports dropped to 8.7%, down from 10.1% in April.

The figures cover a period before Russia slapped a ban on all Latvian pork products as a result of an outbreak of African swine fever in the eastern Latgale province of the country – despite the fact that the disease is already endemic in parts of Russia.

In May 2014 compared to April the export value of goods to all destinations at current prices reduced by 3.6%, however, because imports fell even more – by 5.0% - Latvia's foreign trade balance improved slightly with exports accounting for 45% of total trade.

The nature and size of Latvia's trade with Russia has been a topic of concern for months, ever since the Russian Federation annexed Ukraine's Crimea with some voices calling for tougher sanctions against Moscow and others warning that hard-hitting EU sanctions might seriously impact Latvia's own economy.

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Economy
Economy