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Export prices edge upward but volume declines

Finnish exports appear to be slowing after rapid growth in recent years.

Vuosaaren satama.
Fewer exports were shipped out through Vuosaari and other ports in early summer. Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Finnish exports appear to be slowing. The value of goods exported in June was lower than a year earlier, despite a slight rise in average prices for the goods.

The value and volume of exports slumped by around three percent from a year earlier, although prices edged up by half a percent, Customs said on Friday. The value of goods sent abroad was about 5.2 billion euros.

Despite June's decline, the value of exported goods still rose by four percent over the first half of this year. But so far this year exports are on track for much slower growth than last year's seven percent and the previous year's brisk 15 percent.

Exports were weak in many sectors in early summer, with a significant drop in the number of cars shipped abroad. There were also broad declines in the chemical and forest product industries.

On the plus side, exports of electrical machinery and equipment rose. Metal exports continued to rise thanks to sales related to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline across the Baltic.

Exports to Germany slump

Exports to other EU countries shrank by seven percent, but sales outside the EU notched up by two percent year-on-year, especially to the US, China and Russia. Exports to Germany, one of Finland's most important trading partners, were substantially lower.

The balance of trade showed a surplus of 208 million euros in June, and a surplus of some 160 million euros for the first half of the year.

That compares to last year's deficits in June (156 million euros) and from January-through June (1.2 billion euros).

Also on Friday, the Mortgage Society of Finland (Hypo) said in an economic forecast that the upswing in the Finnish economy has peaked and will slide narrowly into recession later this year.

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