Greece imported US$62.2 billion worth of goods from around the world in 2019, up by 31.5% since 2015 and down by -4.6% from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, Greece uses the euro which appreciated by 0.9% against the US dollar since 2015 but declined by -5.5% from 2018 to 2019. The weaker EU currency makes Greece’s imports paid for in stronger US dollars in 2019 relatively less expensive than in 2018 when converted starting from euros.
Applying a continental lens, 63% of Greece’s total imports by value were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 28.9% of all import purchases by Greece. Smaller percentages came from Africa (4.5%), North America (2.4%), Latin America (1.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.1%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
Given Greece’s population of 10.7 million people, its total $62.2 billion in 2019 imported goods translates to roughly $5,800 in yearly product demand from every person in the southern European country.
Greece’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Greece’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Greece.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$16.7 billion (26.9% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $4.6 billion (7.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.6 billion (5.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $3.1 billion (5%)
- Vehicles: $2.9 billion (4.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $2.2 billion (3.5%)
- Organic chemicals: $2.1 billion (3.4%)
- Meat: $1.4 billion (2.2%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $1.3 billion (2.1%)
- Iron, steel: $1.3 billion (2%)
Greece’s top 10 imports accounted for 63% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Leading purchases increases from 2018 to 2019 were for organic chemicals (up 40.4%), knitted or crocheted clothing and accessories (up 32%), vehicles (up 8.5%) then electrical machinery and equipment (up 4.7%).
The severest decline was a -19.3% dip for the iron and steel category.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2019, Greek importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Crude oil: US$10.5 billion (down -15.6% from 2018)
- Processed petroleum oils: $3.9 billion (down -12.8%)
- Petroleum gases: $1.6 billion (up 24.7%)
- Electrical energy: $561.4 million (up 12.4%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $64.3 million (down -33.6%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $53.5 million (up 691.1%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $29.5 million (down -39.8%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $9.9 million (up 19.7%)
- Peat: $7.9 million (down -5.3%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $4.4 million (down -17.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Greek purchases of high-temperature distilled coal tar oils (up 691.1%), petroleum gases (up 24.7%) then tar pitch and coke (up 19.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuels energy among Greek businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Greek importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$982.1 million (down -8.7% from 2018)
- Air conditioners: $265.9 million (up 2.6%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $207.7 million (down -2.1%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $191.6 million (up 15%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $189.6 million (up 1.2%)
- Printing machinery: $175.5 million (up 0.7%)
- Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines: $144.1 million (down -10.8%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $127 million (up 48.1%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $124.7 million (down -9.8%)
- Piston engine parts: $116.7 million (up 10.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Greek purchases of computer parts or accessories (up 48.1%), centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 15%) then piston engine parts (up 10.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Greek businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Greek importers spent the most on the following subcategories of electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$820.9 million (down -9.7% from 2018)
- Electric generating sets, converters: $335.6 million (down -6.1%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $273.1 million (down -3.3%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $202.4 million (up 11.2%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $182.8 million (up 7.7%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $180.6 million (up 19.9%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $133.8 million (up 4.5%)
- Unrecorded sound media: $111.2 million (down -12.6%)
- Electric storage batteries: $107.5 million (down -4.9%)
- Electric motor parts: $102.6 million (up 74.8%)
Among these import subcategories, Greek purchases of electric motor parts (up 74.8%), insulated wire or cable (up 19.9%) then electric water heaters and hair dryers (up 11.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Greek businesses and consumers.
In 2019, Greek importers spent the most on the following subcategories of pharmaceuticals.
- Medication mixes in dosage: US$2.2 billion (down -10.1% from 2018)
- Blood fractions (including antisera): $738.2 million (up 7.1%)
- Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods: $75.3 million (down -6.3%)
- Packaged dressings: $55.7 million (down -21.4%)
- Medication mixes not in dosage: $47.6 million (down -51.1%)
- Dried organs, heparin: $6.2 million (down -34.9%)
Among these import subcategories, Greek purchases of blood fractions including antisera (up 7.1%) was the sole gainer from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported pharmaceutical goods among Greek businesses and consumers.
See also Greece’s Top 10 Exports, Greece’s Top Trading Partners and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on February 20, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 20, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on February 20, 2020