The European Union proved the best and most consistent customer for Greek products last year, as the 27 fellow member-states of the bloc absorbed an even greater share of the country’s exports in 2019, according to an analysis by the research center of the Panhellenic Exporters Association.
This concerns countries such as France – with which the deepening of bilateral relations was not restricted to the political level but also extended to Greek exports – as the French market became the eighth biggest for Greek products in 2019, up from 11th in 2018. However, Greece has such a diverse list of customers that it even exports its products to Antarctica now.
Pharmaceutical products gave Greek exports a significant boost as a result of the considerable investments in recent years by local companies in the sector. Cotton also helped, thanks not only to the increase in its cultivation but also to the rise in the price of the commodity.
The value of exports to EU countries reached 18.49 billion euros last year, up 6.6 percent from 17.31 billion euros in 2018. The EU accounted for 55.5 percent of Greek exports’ value, against 52.3 percent in 2018. Exports to fellow eurozone states rose 7 percent to 13.18 billion euros, absorbing 39.5 percent of all Greek exports, up from 37.2 percent a year earlier.
For the ninth year in a row Italy was the most important destination for Greek commodities, followed by Germany, while Cyprus climbed to third place, replacing Turkey, which dropped to fourth. Bulgaria ranked fifth and the US sixth, while the UK was seventh, ahead of France, which absorbed 17.5 percent more exports in value terms in 2019. Lebanon and Spain completed the top 10.
Among the new destinations added for Greek exports are Antarctica, the Cayman Islands, Barbados, Colombia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
The top export in 2019 was once again fuel, despite the annual slide by 8 percent of its value to a sum of 9.8 billion euros in 2019. It was followed by pharmaceuticals, which climbed 38.9 percent to 1.57 billion euros.