Compared with the same period in 2012, exports of Lithuanian goods in the first half of 2013 increased by 14.7%, or LTL 5.3 billion, to a total of LTL 41 billion. In June merchandise exports of goods in June saw a 6.6% growth or LTL 423.9 million compared to June 2012, , reaching a value of LTL 6.8 billion. The model for forecasting exports developed by Enterprise Lithuania predicts a 4.3% growth in the export of products of Lithuanian origin (apart from oil products) this year.
Measured by growth in export volumes, Lithuania is still holding the leading position in the Baltic States - in the first half of this year, Latvian exports grew by 7.5%, while Estonian exports grew by 2.5%.
In the first half of 2013, exports of products of Lithuanian origin increased by 14.6%, or LTL 3.2 billion, to a total of LTL 25.4 billion, while re-exports of goods increased by 15%, or by LTL 2 billion, to LTL 15.6 billion.
“During the first half of 2013, growth in the export of goods of Lithuanian origin was primarily determined by the oil refining industry, the agricultural sector and the food industry," states Vadimas Ivanovas, chief analyst at Enterprise Lithuania. "Faster growth of Lithuanian exports in the first half of the year was slowed down mainly by the chemical industry: declining prices for fertilisers and decreasing export volumes of primary plastics dragged the entire sector down. On the other hand, once redistribution of production capacities in the EU is carried out and scheduled renovations at Lithuanian plants are completed, it is likely that the chemical industry sector will begin to recover.”
Compared with the same period in 2012, food industry exports in the first half of 2013 saw a growth of 13.9%, or LTL 341.5 million, for a total of LTL 2.81 billion. During this period, growth in food industry exports was determined mainly by exports of milk and dairy products, meat and fish products, and meat. Dairy product exports during this period increased by 13.6%, or by LTL 103.7 million, to a total of LTL 867.6 million. The growth was mainly determined by the export of raw milk, cheese and whey. Raw milk exports reported a growth of 55.8%, or LTL 70.5 million, while whey exports increased by 44.8% or LTL 20 million. The export market demonstrating the greatest growth for these products was Poland, to which exports of raw milk nearly doubled, with an increase of LTL 47.7 million for a total of LTL 90.6 million; whey exports increased nearly five-fold, by LTL 11.5 million to reach a total of LTL 14.3 million. "Such significant growth in the export of raw materials is related to the shortage of raw materials for dairy production throughout the entire EU that was caused by New Zealand’s problems (the Fonterra case) and the fact that European manufacturers are discovering new export markets. Raw material export prices in the EU have recently increased by at least 10%, and growing volumes of Lithuanian product exports are putting pressure on domestic market prices, causing a shortage of raw materials for Lithuanian dairy producers, although prices for dairy products in export markets are also rising," says Mr Ivanovas about the situation.
Compared with the same period in 2012, furniture industry exports in the first half of 2013 grew 2.1%, or LTL 32.9 million, to LTL 1.57 billion. During this period, furniture industry export volume growth was primarily determined by exports of seating furniture, which increased 6.4%, or LTL 25.6 million, for a total of LTL 424.7 million. Lithuanian furniture manufacturers are planning to sustain an export growth of 2-4% in the second half of this year as well. However, decreasing demand in Southern European markets (Spain, Portugal, Southern France) may induce changes in export geography. Furniture exports to the USA, Canada, Russia, and the growing Asian markets should increase, as it is namely in these countries that demand is currently on the rise. "The opening of a new IKEA store in Vilnius will affect small Lithuanian furniture producers, as increased competition will force them to look for new markets for their products abroad. However, the majority of smaller companies engaged in furniture production offer high quality, often tailor-made furniture for an attractive price, which gives them a good chance of becoming established in export markets – all they need to do is intensify their search,” says Mr Ivanovas about the opportunities for furniture manufacturers.
In the first half of 2013, exports of oil products and grain had the greatest impact on geographic changes in the export of Lithuanian goods. Orlen Lietuva increased sales and market share in the Baltics, while grain exports to Iran increased by LTL 441 million.