Greece’s exports fell by more than 8 percent in the first half of the year as Greek companies felt the impact of capital controls.
The data published Friday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority point to a decline both within the European Union, where the impact of Brexit is being felt, as well as non-EU markets, which seem to be distancing themselves from Greek products as local firms struggle to promote their goods due to limited liquidity.
According to the figures, the value of Greek exports for the first six months of the year came to 11.97 billion euros, which was 8.1 percent down on the 13.02 billion achieved during the same period last year. Exports made between January and June 2014 had an even higher value of 13.17 billion euros.
During June, exports stood at 2.1 billion euros, compared to 2.25 billion in June 2015, a decrease of 6.6 percent. The drop is still significant (4.5 percent) even if oil products are excluded. All the key export categories experienced declines last month. Raw materials fell by 25.4 percent, for example.
There was a notable decrease in exports, including oil products, to non-EU countries, where they fell by 14.6 percent compared to June last year. Exports to EU countries edged down 0.4 percent. Over the six-month period, there is also a contrast between the two categories: Exports to the EU were up 0.4 percent, but down by a sizable 18.2 percent to other countries.
“Greek exporters continue to pay a heavy price for the absence of normality in the market more than one year on from when capital controls were imposed,” said Christina Sakellaridi, the head of the Panhellenic Exporters Association. “The situation is made worse by international developments, such as Brexit, which undermine the prospects for growth in the eurozone, which is the main market for Greek exports.”
Sakellaridi added that the financial constraints Greek companies face are preventing them from engaging in “aggressive” promotion campaigns in non-EU markets that are currently growing fast.