Exports flirt with annual drop for last year as whole

By Dimitra Manifava

Greek exports are teetering on the brink of ending 2013 with a decline compared with the previous year, as Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) estimates for November point to a major 22.6 percent yearly slide when fuel is included and 7.9 percent without it. That drop is considered particularly big even among the most pessimistic circles in the export industry as it constitutes the worst monthly performance in four years.

On a 12-month basis, the period from December 2012 to November 2013 showed a marginal increase in exports of just 1.7 percent from the 12 months before, which means that if December was also a negative month in terms of export growth, the whole of last year may have seen exports shrink, against original estimates for annual growth of 3-4 percent.

Greek exports in November came to 2.14 billion euros, from 2.76 billion in November 2012. Fuel exports declined by a massive 41.8 percent year-on-year, while food exports fell 6.5 percent, raw materials dropped 12.8 percent and olive oil exports plummeted 34 percent.

Imports that included fuel declined by 15.3 percent in November, but when fuel is taken out of the equation, imports posted annual growth of 4.4 percent.