Lithuania‘s goods export witnessed a very rapid growth in 2021 despite a challenging political and economic environment

2022-02-14
Lithuania‘s goods export witnessed a very rapid growth in 2021 despite a challenging political and economic environment

Lithuania‘s goods export in 2021 were not significantly affected by a steep rise in the prices for oil and other commodities, continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and complicated geopolitical situation in the East, marks the statistical data analysis prepared by Enterprise Lithuania.

According to Statistics Lithuania, in 2021 Lithuanian goods exports increased 20.5% (excluding oil: 16.4%) year-on-year. Export growth rates remained similar throughout the year. The most significant growth was recorded in the second quarter of 2021 due to the effects of the low previous year’s base as restrictions on business activities had been imposed in Lithuania and other countries in QII 2020.

‘An overview of the goods exports indicators for 2021 leads to a conclusion that Lithuanian exporters have adapted to the challenging geopolitical and economic environment: their operating results were among the best compared with previous years of the past decade. One can see that, in terms of the goods exports structure, an increase in the export of goods of Lithuanian origin has had the greatest impact on overall growth‘, says Jonė Kalendienė, Head of Research and Analysis Division of Enterprise Lithuania, an entrepreneurship and export development agency.

The annual growth in exports of goods of Lithuanian origin was 25.9 % (excluding petroleum products:  20.7%), whereas reexports increased 12.7% (excluding petroleum products: 10.6%). Starting from the beginning of 2021, exports of chemicals and chemical products have had the strongest impact on export indicators, and this trend continued until the end of the year. The increase in the exports of these goods accounted for almost one third of the increase of exports of Lithuanian goods in 2021 (7.2 % out of 25.9 %).

The contribution of other main exporting sectors to the increase in exports was significant as well: petroleum products industry (7 p. p.), engineering industry (4.2 p. p.), furniture (2.5 p. p.), and timber industry (2.4 p. p.).  The figures for agriculture and tobacco industry were with a negative sign (-0.3 p. p. and -1 p. p. respectively).

In 2021, the main export markets for products of Lithuanian origin were Germany, USA, Poland, Latvia and the Netherlands; all these countries jointly accounted for 40% of total exports. The main reexport markets included Russia, Latvia, Poland, Estonia and Byelorussia (approx. 60% of reexports).

‘Statistics show that geopolitical tensions in the East have not had a significant impact on Lithuania‘s export results. Belarussian, Russian, Kazakhstan and Chinese markets account for a very small share of exports of Lithuanian origin, therefore, their impact on overall export indicators is rather small,’ summarises J. Kalendienė.

In 2021, Belarus was 28th, Russia 17th, and Kazakhstan 48th on the list of export markets for goods of Lithuanian origin; jointly, they accounted for just 2.5% of total exports of such goods. The exports of Lithuanian goods to Belarus increased 1.6%, to Russia 21%, and to Kazakhstan 18.1 %.

The decrease in exports of goods of Lithuanian origin to China was 30%, with the most significant reduction recorded (excluding agricultural products) in the last quarter of the year: 36.1%. The Taiwan market did not compensate for the loss in China – here, the exports of goods of Lithuanian origin increased 7.8 %. The Chinese market accounts for 0.8 % and Taiwan for 0.1 % in the exports value; their joint impact on the last year’s import growth indicators was insignificant.

Last year, Russia, Byelorussia and Kazakhstan remained among Lithuania‘s main reexport directions (first, fifth and ninth positions, respectively, by size); they jointly accounted for 35.1% of total reexports. Still, reexports to Byelorussia increased just 0.8%, whereas reexports to Russia and Kazakhstan shrunk    by 4.2 % and 11.6 %, respectively. Poor results in these markets were compensated for by the growing reexport of goods to other countries; last year, the overall growth in reexports was 12.7%.

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