Latvian Exports Dropped for Second Consecutive Month in January - Expert

RIGA, March 12 (LETA) - Latvian exports dropped for the second consecutive month in January 2019, Martins Abolins, an economist at Citadele Bank, told LETA.

"This year started with a slight drop in Latvia's exports as the exports of goods declined by 0.6 percent on year, according to information released by the Central Statistical Office. This was the second month in a row that a drop was recorded in Latvia's exports of goods. This, together with a trade growth of just 1.2 percent and a 1.8 percent drop in industrial production marks a rather slow start of the year for the Latvian economy in general," the economist said.

Abolins indicated that the 31.3 percent increase in the exports of timber products, which is the largest group of Latvia's export goods, did not make up for the overall reduction of Latvia's exports. Apart from the timber products, an increase of 10.9 percent was recorded for the export of transport vehicles, and exports of optical equipment rose 16.4 percent, while exports of most other categories of goods declined.

"Although high timber prices generally fueled Latvia's export growth, their impact on furniture producers was rather negative," Abolins said, noting that the price hikes caused Latvian furniture exports to fall 7.9 percent in January.

Last year's poor harvest also continued to affect Latvian exports, leading to a 6.9 percent reduction in grain...

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