In December, Latvia exported goods in the amount of EUR 884.5 million, and imported goods in the amount of EUR 1.1 billion. The foreign trade balance worsened slightly, as exports in the total foreign trade value dropped to 44.0 % (in December 2015 – 44.9 %), according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
In 2016, the foreign trade turnover of Latvia at current prices comprised EUR 22.61 billion, which was EUR 243.8 million or 1.1 % less than in 2015. The exports value constituted EUR 10.33 billion (a drop of EUR 30.9 million or 0.3 %), whereas the imports value comprised EUR 12.28 billion (a drop of EUR 212.9 million or 1.7 %).
Main changes in exports in December 2016, compared to December 2015, included the following: exports of wood and articles of wood up by EUR 24.2 million or 19.3 %; exports of products of the chemical and allied industries up by EUR 14.8 million or 24.3 %; exports of vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment up by EUR 14.0 million or 30.5 %; exports of live animals and animal products up by EUR 11.7 million or 35.9 %; exports of vegetable products down by EUR 40.5 million or 50.6 %.
Main changes in imports in December 2016, compared to December 2015, included the following: imports of products of the chemical and allied industries up by EUR 25.5 million or 26.5 %; imports of basic metals and articles of basic metals up by EUR 15.5 million or 23.7 %; imports of prepared foodstuffs up by EUR 10.8 million or 12.7 %; imports of live animals and animal products up by EUR 9.2 million or 27.3 %; imports of vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment down by EUR 18.6 million or 14.4 %.
In December, the main export partners in trade with EU countries were Lithuania (18.8 % of total exports), Estonia (11.8 %), United Kingdom (5.9 %) and Sweden (5.7 %), whereas the main import partners were Lithuania (16.9 % of total imports), Germany (11.4 %), Poland (8.9 %) and Estonia (8.2 %).
Russia was the main partner in trade with third countries; its share in total Latvian exports in December accounted for 10.8 %, whereas in imports – for 8.5 %.
Growth in the exports of pharmaceutical products in December 2016, as compared to December 2015, was influenced by an increase in the exports of medicines (of EUR 7.8 million or 29.6 %). In turn, there was a drop in the exports of electrical machinery and equipment, as the exports of monitors, projectors and television receivers decreased by EUR 8.9 million or 41.6 %.
Growth in the imports of iron and steel in December 2016, as compared to December 2015, was affected by an increase in the imports of flat-rolled products of iron and non-alloy steel (of EUR 11.3 million or 88.6 %). In turn, the drop in the imports of mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation was mainly influenced by a decrease in the imports of natural gas in gaseous state (of EUR 8.4 million or 21.5 %).