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Olive oil, alcohol and cigarettes keep Greek exports buoyant

08 August 2015 / 18:08:22  GRReporter
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A strong growth in exports (excluding petroleum products) was reported for June, resulting in further improvement of Greece's export indicators for the first half of 2015.

The analysis of the Panhellenic Exporters Association (PEA) and the Centre for Export Research (CER), based on preliminary data of the Greek Statistical Office (ELSTAT), shows a total value of exports decreased by 10.7% (down to €2.23 billion from €2.49 billion in June 2014). But this decline was almost entirely due to oil products. If they are removed from the equation, there will be a significant growth of 18% or €250.3 million.

If we add up the June results, the first six months of 2015 end up with a small decline of about 1.8% in total exports (down to €12.99 billion from €13.24 billion), or €250 million. However, if we bracket up petroleum products, the growth is 13.7%, or €1.1 billion.

As stated by the PEA President, Christina Sakellaridis, "export figures, barring the period of capital controls, show how crucial the return to normalcy is. They confirm how important exports and being outward bound out are for the Greek economy, but also for the country's banking system. Therefore, it is necessary to loosen up capital controls as soon as possible, which affect overseas transactions, and, most of all, to resolutely disperse the plume of uncertainty and instability, which may only increase with the delays of the final decision on the country's debt.

So, apart from speeding up the approval of bank transfers abroad and raising cash withdrawal limits for exporters, these decisions should be taken as a matter of urgency, which will allow the normal operation of the banking system and the launch of development-spurring reforms, within Greece's commitments to its creditors and partners. It is absolutely necessary to immediately restore the confidence of our trading partners, of the Greek business community and of bank depositors. It is also crucial to restore the trust of the Greek and international community towards the national political system. If these positive developments materialise, the Greek exporters will prove as ever that they will continue to contribute to productivity, creativity, job creation, and boosting revenues."

The PEA and CER analysis shows that the increase in the total value of exports in June is mainly generated by exports to EU member states (+7.4%), while exports to third countries have deteriorated significantly (-26.7%). If, however, petroleum products are taken out of the picture, fairly high growth rates are seen for both EU (+ 21.5%) and third countries (+11.6%).

The total value of exports for the first six months of 2015 has grown by 10.4% for EU member states and decreased by 13.1% for third countries. Without oil products however, export growth amounts to 14.8% for EU countries and 11.5% for third ones.

As a result of these trends, EU member states' share in the total value of Greek exports has reached 53.8% against 46.2% of the exports to third parties. Without oil products, the share of EU countries goes up to a considerable 73.9% versus only 26.1% of the exports for third countries.

Performance by sector

It is a meaningful fact of the export dynamics in June that, with the exception of petroleum products (-45.2%), all other sectors have reported double digit growth rates, with olive oil (+ 174.3%), alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (+ 41.8%), machinery (+ 28.8%) and industrial goods (+ 28.7%) at the top.

A similar trend, although at lower rates, emerges for the first six months: without petroleum products (-25.1%), all other sectors have registered growth, with olive oil (+213.5%), alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (+ 30.3%), machinery (+ 26.5%), confidential (+20.8%) and industrial goods (+ 17.9%) again ruling the roost.

Tags: Greek export growth analysis Panhellenic Exporters Association
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