ECONOMY

Greek exports to the US growing beyond feta, olive oil and yogurt

Greece exports a wide variety of products to the USA, ranging from oil pipes to olives and from razor blades to the mineral vermiculite, is some cases being one of its main suppliers.

Indeed, the transatlantic route has played a key role in the impressive rise of Greek exports over the last three years – a domain traditionally dominated by feta cheese, yogurt and olive oil.

The strong cards among Greek exports, with good prospects of further penetration of the American market, include fish and seafood products – particularly sea bass, for which Greece is the main supplier with a market share close to 80 percent – and olives, with a market share of about 72 percent. But the main exportable Greek product is pipes for oil and natural gas, with a value that exceeded 115 million euros last year.

According to a recent report by the Greek Embassy in Washington’s Bureau of Economic and Commercial Affairs, Greek sea bass and sea bream are among the products gaining growing recognition as good value-for-money propositions.

Greek olives, the report says, also enjoy broad recognizability among American consumers and hold strong potential for expanding their market share. The value of Greek olive exports came to 58.08 million euros in 2012, with strong competition from Italy, Spain and Morocco.

The performance of the country’s exports to the US is also gaining as regards dairy products, with Greece being the third-biggest supplier of cheeses from sheep or cow milk. Greece’s market share in those two categories is now 15 percent and 18.4 percent respectively, after an 82.3 percent increase in 2012,representing a total value of 7.8 million euros.

Industrial exports to the US are also faring particularly well. Greece holds the largest market share in iron and copper pipes for oil and natural gas. This amounted to 29.2 percent last year after a 103.7 percent increase from 2011. This country is also the third-largest supplier of razor blades after Mexico and China, with the value standing at 63.3 million in 2012.

Greece is the number one supplier to the US of vermiculite, a hydrous, silicate mineral that is most suitable for insulation and widely used in energy-efficient fireplaces. The value of vermiculite exports was 11.08 million euros.