The value of Finland’s goods exports to Russia in the first three months of this year decreased by 5 % y-o-y to 722 million euros. Export trends varied widely from product category to category. Decreases were seen in machinery & equipment and chemical products, both major export categories, while exports in numerous other product categories were up on year. Preliminary data show that the value of Finland’s exports of services to Russia increased by 5 % in the first quarter to 377 million euros. The trade figures for April and May are expected to be weaker than in the first three months of the year. In a survey conducted by the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce in April and May, over 60 % of responding companies reported that the coronavirus had hurt trade with Russia. The effects only became apparent in April and May.
The value of Finland’s goods imports from Russia fell by 18 % y-o-y to 1.8 billion euros. The decline in import was driven by the lower value of minerals (including oil & gas), a major category of import, following the recent collapse in oil prices. Preliminary figures show that imports of services from Russia decreased in the first quarter by 21 % y-o-y to 147 million euros.
In January-March, Russia’s share of Finland's goods exports was unchanged from a year earlier at 5 %. In the first quarter of this year, Russia's share of goods imports was 12 %, a 2 percentage-point decline from a year earlier, but Russia still remained Finland's second most important source of imports.
In January-March, Finland's exports of goods to China decreased by 14 % y-o-y to 695 million euros. The decrease in exports was mainly due to contraction of the Chinese economy in the first quarter. Exports of forest industry products, a major component of Finnish exports, decreased by 36 %. However, exports of machinery & equipment were up by 8 % y-o-y.
Finland’s goods imports from China increased by 5 % y-o-y in the first quarter to 1.1 billion euros. Imports in the machinery & equipment category rose by 9 %, while other products (including categories such as games, gaming equipment, sports equipment as well as furniture and lamps) were up 15 % y-o-y. Preliminary figures show exports of Finnish services to China and service imports from China decreased by 8 % y-o-y.
Finnish-Russian trade broken by product categories, January-March 2020
Sources: Finnish Customs, Statistics Finland and BOFIT.