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Estonia has announced a 17 percent decrease in the amount of milk and dairy products the country exported in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.
In 2015, 58,000 tonnes of Estonian milk and dairy products have been exported for a total of 31.2 million euros so far - a 38 percent decrease in monetary value compared to the first quarter of 2014.
According to Mirgit Silla, a senior statistician at Statistics Estonia, the sanctions imposed by Russia on the import of food products from the European Union are the cause of the decrease of both the amount of milk and dairy products exported by Estonia, as well as their fall in price.
As a result of the sanctions, dairy producers have been forced to find new markets.
Compared to the first quarter of 2014, the export of non-concentrated milk and cream comprised of 18,763 tonnes, or one-third. The main export destinations of milk and cream are Estonia’s neighbouring Baltic States, Lithuania and Latvia.
Smaller amounts have been exported to Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Russia; lactose-free cream, which is not under sanctions, was exported to Russia.
The fall in exports of non-concentrated milk and cream was caused by the decrease in the export of unprocessed or raw milk.
In the first quarter of 2015, 34,888 tonnes of raw milk was exported from Estonia, which when compared to the same period of the previous year, is a third (17,196 tonnes) less.
Exports of raw milk to Lithuania have significantly fallen, from 45,951 tonnes in the first quarter of 2014 to 23,779 tonnes in the first quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, raw milk exports to Latvia have increased - in the first quarter of 2015, 11,109 tonnes of raw milk was exported compared to 6,132 tonnes last year.
Due to the sanctions imposed by Russia, the price of unprocessed milk price exported from Estonia has decreased compared to the same period last year by 40 percent per tonne.
The sanctions on milk and dairy products were implemented by Russia on August 6 2014.