Euro drop helps Greek exports rebound

The decline of the euro – mainly against the dollar – gave Greek exports a fresh boost in October, exporters say, as Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data on Monday showed a rebound of 7 percent year-on-year according to provisional estimates, following months of yearly decline.

October’s 7 percent growth includes the export of fuel products; without them growth amounted to 3.6 percent.

Given that the decline of the euro continued in November and this month, and with estimates speaking of a prolonged southbound course following the European Central Bank’s decision to relax its monetary policy, one can expect Greek exports to perform even better in the last couple of months of the year and at the start of 2015.

ELSTAT’s estimates for October showed that Greek exports reached 2.51 billion euros. Although growth in exports to third countries was smaller in percentage terms compared with the flow to European Union countries – 5.8 percent versus 8.4 percent respectively – the value of exports to other countries was greater in comparison with that to fellow EU states: Exports to third countries amounted to 1.3 billion euros, or 52 percent, while those to fellow member states reached 1.21 billion euros.

The role of oil products appears to be decisive, as the value of exports in this category reached 912.8 million euros, of which 719.6 million concerned the value of products to third countries. Non-Greek raw materials exported to third countries reached 97.6 million euros, against 29.5 million to EU states.

The recovery of exports in October and forecasts that this will continue up to the end of the year based on industrial order figures may well lead to a revision of the estimates for the course of exports for the whole of 2014. According to official data from the first 10 months of the year, exports have declined by 3.2 percent in 2014 compared with the January-October period in 2013.

In contrast to exports, imports started shrinking again in October, as they decreased by 1.9 percent from October 2013 when fuel products are included and by 3.1 percent excluding oil products.