Greece’s Top 10 Exports

Greece’s Top 10 Exports


Greece shipped US$28.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 16% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in but down by -0.6% from 2015 to 2016.

Greece’s top 10 exports accounted for 62.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Based on statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Database, Greece’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $290.5 billion in 2016.

Therefore, exports accounted for about 9.7% of total Greek economic output.

From a continental perspective, about two-thirds (65.9%) of Greek exports by value are delivered to other European countries while 19.2% are sold to Asian importers. Greece ships another 6.9% to African customers with 5.5% going to North America.

Given Greece’s population of 10.8 million people, its total $28.1 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $2,600 for every resident in that country.

Greece’s unemployment rate was 23% as of November 2016 down from 24.6% 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 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Greece.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$7.6 billion (27.1% of total exports)
  2. Aluminum: $1.5 billion (5.5%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $1.5 billion (5.2%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $1.2 billion (4.2%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $1.1 billion (4%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: $1.1 billion (3.9%)
  7. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.0 billion (3.7%)
  8. Fruits, nuts: $990.4 million (3.5%)
  9. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $778.7 million (2.8%)
  10. Fish: $720.1 million (2.6%)

Only one Greek export category declined in value from 2009 to 2016: pharmaceuticals depreciated by -10.4%.

Leading the gainers were animal or vegetable fats, oils and waxes (up 66.4%), mineral fuels including oil (up 55%) and aluminum (up 50.4%).


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 is 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$774.9 million (Up by 22.1% since 2009)
  2. Aluminum: $704.7 million (Up by 51.2%)
  3. Fruits, nuts: $630.6 million (Up by 57.5%)
  4. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $481.1 million (Up by 313.0%)
  5. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $452.4 million (Up by 44.7%)
  6. Cotton: $314.9 million (Down by -30.1%)
  7. Fish: $296.8 million (Up by 92.8%)
  8. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $237.2 million (Up by 836.2%)
  9. Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos: $147.5 million (Up by 138.1%)
  10. Furskins, artificial fur: $94.9 million (Up by 15.9%)

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.


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. Overall, Greece posted a -$20.5 billion trade deficit during 2016 down by -56.7% from -$47.3 billion in 2009.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$3 billion (Down by -59.1% since 2009)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$2 billion (Down by -55.6%)
  3. Ships, boats: -$2 billion (Down by -61%)
  4. Vehicles : -$1.9 billion (Down by -62.5%)
  5. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.9 billion (Down by -53.1%)
  6. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$1.7 billion (Down by -52.1%)
  7. Meat: -$1.1 billion (Down by -24.5%)
  8. Plastics, plastic articles: -$759 million (Down by -14.6%)
  9. Paper, paper items: -$752.5 million (Down by -37.4%)
  10. Organic chemicals: -$749.5 million (Down by -42.4%)

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 2015 Global 2000 rankings, here are examples of large international trade players headquartered in Greece:

  • Hellenic Telecom Organization (telecommunications)
  • Hellenic Petroleum (refined oil, gas)
  • 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 21, 2017

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 21, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 21, 2017

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