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Exports in 2008 pulled down to the level of 2007 at the end of the year

Publication date 9.2.2009 9.00
Press release

The value of Finnish exports remained at a little less than 66 billion euros in 2008, which is almost exactly the same level as the previous year. In January-October exports were still increasing by a few per cent, but the 20 per cent drop in the November exports and the 15 per cent drop in December left the total sum of Finnish exports at the same level as in 2007. The imports of 2008 increased by four per cent even though also the value of imports decreased by 15 per cent in December. The trade surplus amounted to a little more than 3.7 billion euros in 2008. The trade surplus has not been lower than that since 1992. In 2007, the trade surplus amounted to almost 6.1 billion euros.

Both exports and imports were pulled down by the decrease in basic metal industry trade. Exports and imports of oil products clearly increased, since the prices went up in the beginning of the year. The trade in machinery and equipment and vehicles increased somewhat. Exports of electrotechnical products remained at the same level as in 2007, whereas imports decreased a little.

The EU’s share of both exports and imports remained a little smaller than in 2007. The EU’s share of the total Finnish exports was 55.9 per cent last year, and the share of the total imports was 54.5 per cent. The decline was caused by the growth of the trade with countries outside the EU, mainly Russia. Last year, Russia became Finland’s most important trading partner both in exports and imports. Germany maintained its position as second most important trading partner. The trade with both China and the United States remained at a lower level than in the year before.

Less transit traffic on the roads towards the end of the year

In 2008, the amount of goods transported to Russia in transit traffic increased by three per cent compared to the previous year. The amount of goods transported during the final quarter of the year was, however, 14 per cent smaller than a year earlier.

The most important reason for the decrease in the amount (in tonnes) of transit goods was the drop in transit transports of passenger cars that began already in the fall. In October-December 2008, roughly 60 000 passenger cars less than at the same time in 2007 were transported through Finland.

Approximately 30 per cent of exports to Russia in 2007 were re-exports

Of the exports to Russia in 2007, amounting to more than 6.7 billion euros, approximately 30 per cent consisted of goods manufactured outside Finland. The share of re-exports remained at the same level as in the previous year.  The value of the re-exports of cars was more than 830 million euros. Entertainment electronics for a value of 370 million euros were exported, as well as household appliances for a value of about 150 million euros. For the most part, the re-exported goods originated in the EU or Southeast Asia.

National Board of Customs, Statistics Unit
Further information is obtainable at the National Board of Customs from
Head of Statistics Timo Koskimäki, tel. 020 492 1851 or 040 332 1851
Senior Customs Inspector Matti Heiniemi, tel. 020 492 1845
Senior Customs Inspector Kari Tähtivaara, tel. 020 492 1844
Senior Customs Inspector Eija Pohjansaari (transit statistics), tel. 020 492 1855


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