Greek exports holding well, trade deficit shrinks

Greek exports holding well, trade deficit shrinks

Greek exports fared relatively well during the first half of the year, considering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Total exports were 14.61 billion euros, a decline of 12.2% from the €16.63 billion recorded in the first half of 2019. Excluding petroleum products, exports remained almost unchanged, and even increased a little, to €11.32 billion from €11.28 billion in 2019.

Petroleum products were greatly affected by the big drop in the price of oil as a result of demand decline during the pandemic.

Helping the rest of the Greek exports stay steady were gains in agricultural products exports, mainly to other European Union countries, as well as chemical products, also to the EU but also third countries, such as Australia, Turkey and the United States. Imports during the first half declined 15.5% to €22.98 billion, from €27.19 billion in 2019. Outside oil and petroleum products, they declined 7.4% to €18.06 billion. Thus, the trade deficit declined 20.8% to €8.37 billion, from €10.56 billion in 2018.

Exports to Italy declined 14.5%, but it remains the top destination for Greek products. Germany, where exports actually increased, is second, followed by Cyprus and Bulgaria, up from fifth. France jumped from 10th to fifth place, on the back of the very strong export growth of Greek products (36.2%).

Among specific product sectors, oil products remain the most important, despite a 39.7% decline; they are followed by pharmaceuticals, up 59.7%, aluminum products, cheeses (up to 4th place from 14th in 2019), non-frozen vegetables, olive oil, fish, pipes and information processing machines.

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