Greece’s Top 10 Exports

Greece’s Top 10 Exports


A strategic juncture for Europe, Asia and Africa, the Hellenic Republic commonly known as Greece shipped US$32.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount represents a -10.1% decrease from 2013 but a 17.2% uptick from 2016 to 2017 for the southern European nation.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Greece’s exported goods plus services represent 31.5% of total Greek economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, about two-thirds (63.6%) of Greek exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 23.1% were sold to Asian importers. Greece shipped another 6.2% to African customers with 5% going to North America.

Given Greece’s population of 10.8 million people, its total $32.6 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $3,000 for every resident in that country.

Greece’s unemployment rate was 20.9% as of November 2017 down from 23% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Greece’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Greek global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Greece.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$10.1 billion (31% of total exports)
  2. Aluminum: $1.8 billion (5.6%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $1.5 billion (4.6%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $1.3 billion (4.1%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $1.3 billion (3.9%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.2 billion (3.6%)
  7. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.1 billion (3.4%)
  8. Fruits, nuts: $987.4 million (3%)
  9. Fish: $753.4 million (2.3%)
  10. Dairy, eggs, honey: $703.7 million (2.2%)

Greece’s top 10 exports accounted for 63.8% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Percentage changes in value range from a 32.3% gain for mineral fuels including oil (led by refined petroleum oils), down to a modest 0.9% uptick for the fruits and nuts category.


The following types of Greek product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: US$812.1 million (Up by 4.3% since 2016)
  2. Aluminum: $742.2 million (Up by 4.6%)
  3. Fruits, nuts: $585.5 million (Down by -6.6%)
  4. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $564.4 million (Up by 25.3%)
  5. Cotton: $361.7 million (Up by 11.3%)
  6. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $321.4 million (Down by -33.3%)
  7. Fish: $259.7 million (Down by -14.4%)
  8. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $225.9 million (Up by 1.5%)
  9. Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos: $159.6 million (Up by 5.7%)
  10. Furskins, artificial fur: $76.9 million (Down by -19.5%)

Greece has highly positive net exports in the international trade of vegetable, fruit or nut preparations. In turn, these cashflows indicate Greece’s strong competitive advantages under the food product category.


Overall Greece incurred a -$24.1 billion trade deficit during 2017, a 21.9% increase from the -$19.8 billion in red ink for 2016.

Below are exports from Greece that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Greece’s goods trail Greek importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$3.7 billion (Up by 18.1% since 2016)
  2. Ships, boats: -$3.3 billion (Up by 62%)
  3. Machinery including computers: -$2.4 billion (Up by 24.5%)
  4. Vehicles: -$2.1 billion (Up by 13.8%)
  5. Pharmaceuticals: -$2 billion (Up by 5.3%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$1.7 billion (Up by 4.4%)
  7. Meat: -$1.2 billion (Up by 12.8%)
  8. Organic chemicals: -$978.7 million (Up by 31.7%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$751.5 million (Up by 21%)
  10. Paper, paper items: -$742 million (Up by 2.3%)

Greece has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels including oil subcategory, particularly crude oil.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Greece’s competitive disadvantages in the international mineral fuels market, but also represent key opportunities for Greece to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations in alternative energy resources.


Greek Export Companies

Based on Forbes Global 2000 rankings, here are examples of large international trade players headquartered in Greece:

  • Hellenic Petroleum (refined oil, gas)
  • Hellenic Telecom Organization (telecommunications)
  • Motor Oil Hellas (oil, gas)

Global trade intelligence firm Zepol also mentions the following companies as examples of Greek exporters:

  • Inomessiniak (wine, olive oil)
  • Interoliva (olives, glass bottles and jars)
  • Promelk (t-shirts, brassieres, sweaters)
  • St Agelopoulo (olives, live carp)
  • Tsalma Marble Of Central North Greece (monument/building stone, wood boxes/cases/crates)

Greece’s capital city is Athens.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Highest Value Greek Export Products, Greece’s Top 10 Imports, Greece’s Top Trading Partners and Highest Value Greek Import Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 20, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 20, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 20, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on November 10, 2015

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Greece. Accessed on February 19, 2016

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 19, 2016

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on February 19, 2016