The importance of exports as the booster of the Finnish economic growth is growing. In the past few years, the economic growth has been supported by investments and private spending, but this year various sources have reported positive news on Finland’s exports. Also, the Bank of Finland states that recession has all the more clearly behind us.
According to recent statistics from Finnish Customs, from January to March the value of Finnish exports increased by 17 per cent and imports by 14 per cent. Calculated from the beginning of the year, exports to EU countries increased by 16 per cent and to non-EU countries by 19 per cent. During the same period imports from EU member states rose by five per cent and from other countries by 30 per cent.
Exports to China and the United States have grown sharply. In addition to this, the Finnish exports to Russia and the Netherlands have been clearly livelier than before. The only negative trend in the first quarter has been in exports to Germany. Statistics also show that exports of almost all our most important product groups have increased.
On the other hand, imports from Russia rose clearly in the first quarter of 2017, which was also true for imports from Sweden and the Netherlands. The imports of iron, steel, and different ores enjoyed the biggest increase. Also, the imports of crude oil and oil refinery products were on the rise.
The growth of Finnish exports has speeded up the demand for all types of transportation.
Both exports and imports by air have been lively. This development is expected to continue, which will reduce the amount of free transportation capacity and may cause pressure to increase transport costs. The high level of fuel price has a similar effect.
The situation for export consignments from Europe to the Americas is relatively good and container space for sea freight is available. On the other hand, space continues to be scarce for imports from the Far East to Europe, which is especially true for transportations from Northern China. Constant monitoring of the availability of container space is advisable, for the scarcity is predicted to continue for a period of at least some weeks.