Surprising Facts in Greek Export Analysis Dynamics

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Dr. Periklis Gogas
, Associate Professor and



Mr. Orestis Piskioulis
Senior Economics Student


Department of Economics, Democritus University of Thrace

The significance of the analysis of the Greek exports’ evolution derives from the fact that exports play an indisputably important role in every small open economy like the one of Greece. It is apparent that exports of goods and services represent the value of all goods and other market services provided for the rest of the world. In effect, exports can have a major influence on the level and speed of economic growth, employment rates and consequently on the balance of payments.

During the course of the previous year, there was a decline in Greek exports by 5.1% to a total of €25.5 billion in comparison to the €26.9 billion a year earlier. However, after excluding the contribution of mineral oils, we have an increase of 7.8 % or to €17.9 billion as compared to the €16.6 billion in 2014.

In the Table below, we present the twenty most significant export sectors of the Greek economy based on their total value. The data are reported by the Hellenic Statistical Authority. The sectors in white represent primary production while the sectors in blue represent industrial products (secondary production). The proportion of the primary sector in total exports is only 17.83%, whereas industrial products constitute the 82.17% of total exports. This highlights their importance to the Greek economy in its effort to recover from the fiscal crisis induced recession.

Which sectors should the Greek economy depend on?

As shown in the table below, mineral oils come in first place constituting 53% of the Greek top 20 exports and 64% of the industrial exports. Medicinal retail products are in second place and aluminium in plates, strips, foils follows in third. We also find the usual suspects, olive oil, fish and olives products that largely benefit by the Mediterranean climate. Despite the crisis, an interesting fact is that “confidential products” as they are marked by the statistical agency refer to high tech items and they are surprisingly high: 4th in 2014 and 5th in 2015. Moreover in the 8th place for 2015 up from 10th in 2014 we find exports of smart phones and tablets that seem to have done really well.

Rank 2015 Rank 2014 Industry Value (in millon euros) Percent of the top 20 exports of Greece





Industry Value (in millon euros) Percent of the top 20 exports of Greece
1 1 Mineral oils 7,186.8 53%
2 2 Medicinal retail products 719.40 5.3%
3 3 Aluminium in plates, strips, foils 568.80 4.2%
4 12 Olive oil 544.70 4%
5 4 Confidential high technology products 498.00 3.7%
6 5 Fish 432.90 3.2%
7 6 Olives 385.10 2.8%
8 10 Smartphones, tablets etc. 362.70 2.7%
9 7 Cheese 362.10 2.7%
10 8 Tubes 359.50 2.6%
11 9 Cotton 294.40 2.1%
12 14 Cigarettes 275.10 2%
13 11 Apricot compote 258.60 1.9%
14 13 Aluminium in aloys 253.60 1.8%
15 16 Aluminium in foils <0,2mm 236.30 1.7%
16 18 Alumium bars 229.00 1.7%
17 21 Asphalt from oil 159.20 1.1%
18 17 Polypropylene 156.40 1.1%
19 30 Cement Portland 146.40 1%
20 19 Tobacco 143.30 1%



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