No production model change

No production model change

The trade balance of agri-food products was in surplus in three of the last four years (2020, 2021 and 2023), a positive development, but not sufficient to change the sign from negative to positive in the overall trade balance.

This is not the only problem, as the trade surplus of agri-food products in recent years is partly thanks to current factors such as the increase in the price of olive oil due to reduced production in Spain. 

Figures for the first quarter of 2024 already show a slowdown in the growth rate of food and livestock exports, to 5% compared to 15.7% in January-March 2023.

The course of exports in recent years reflects the country’s production model, which ultimately has not changed as much as it should have. This is because, as the Center for Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) notes in its analysis, foreign direct investments may have increased recently, but were directed mainly to the tourism and property sectors and not to the predominantly productive sector – i.e. industry.

Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data show that the exports picture today is much better even than before the financial crisis. After all, the large trade deficit was one of the main problems of the Greek economy. In 2008, Greece’s total exports of goods amounted to 17.36 billion euros and imports to €60.72 billion, so the trade deficit jumped to €43.36 billion. During the economic crisis, the deficit was significantly reduced with low domestic demand playing a decisive role, because it caused a decrease in imports and several Greek companies, precisely because of the reduced consumption within Greece, sought markets for their products abroad.

In 2015, when capital controls were imposed, exports totaled €25.50 billion, while imports fell to €42.60 billion, with a trade deficit of €17.1 billion.

Exports of agri-food products almost tripled in value in 2023 compared to 2008, reaching €10.85 billion from €4.01 billion and recording an average annual rate of change of 6.7% in 2008-2022, while in 2023 the increase was 9.5% from 2022.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.