Exports to Russia drop in Finland

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Energy products continue to make up the majority of Finland's imports from Russia. (iStock)
Energy products continue to make up the majority of Finland’s imports from Russia. (iStock)
New figures put Germany in the top spot for overseas sales as exports to Russia dropped sharply in the last quarter.

Machinery, equipment and the chemical industry suffered the biggest falls. Imports from Finland’s eastern neighbour also fell significantly compared to the previous year, though Russia remains the largest source of imports, the vast majority of which are energy commodities.

Problems with Russian trade at the start of the year mean that Germany overtook Russia to become Finland’s largest trading partner, new figures show.

Finnish Customs data for the first quarter of 2014 show that exports to Russia dropped 16 percent compared to the year before. Imports from Russia also fell, at a sharper rate of 18 percent.

The change in ranking of export partners marks a notable shift compared to recent years. Russia has been Finland’s largest trading partner in turnover terms since 2007.

According to Finnish Customs, exports began to weaken at the end of 2013. Machinery, equipment and the chemical industry experienced the strongest declines in sales to Russia. Exports of petroleum products also suffered.

Of the main commodity groups, only transportation equipment exports grew at the start of the year.

The new figures show, however, that Russia remains Finland’s largest source of imports. The vast majority of imports from Russia – over 83 percent – were energy commodities.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Will railway to Alaska solve Alberta’s oil exports conundrum?, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland’s Talvivaara posts seven million euro loss, Yle News

Russia:  New port in Murmansk, Russia slated for coal exports, Mia Bennett

Sweden: Sweden’s Vattenfall: Coal to play important role in future, Radio Sweden

United States: Exxon chief: ‘World may not care whether Alaska gas ever gets developed’, Alaska Dispatch

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