BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2019/49

Finnish goods exports to Russia rose by 28 % y-o-y in 3Q19. Much of the growth came from gas pipeline deliveries to the Nord Stream 2 project. The pipe sections were brought from Russia to Finland for coating, meaning that they were initially recorded as imports to Finland from Russia, then treated as exports from Finland to Russia. Even when gas pipeline activity is omitted, the pace of growth in Finnish exports to Russia accelerated after the first half of the year, rising at about 7 % y-o-y in 3Q19. The fastest growth was seen in exports of foodstuffs and paper products. Russia was Finland’s fourth-largest export market, accounting for nearly 6 % of Finnish exports.

The latest survey from the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce suggests export growth could continue. The survey covers over 200 Finnish firms involved in trade with Russia and 40 % of respondents expected their exports to Russia to increase at least to some extent over the next six months.

The value of Finnish goods imports from Russia contracted by 9 % y-o-y in the 3Q19. The value of imports was mainly dragged down by lower oil prices, but imports contracted in all major product categories. After Germany, Russia was Finland’s second most important import provider, accounting for nearly 14 % of Finland’s imports.