Greece’s Top Trading Partners

Greece's Top Trading Partners

by FlagPictures.org

A southern European nation strategically located near Asia and Africa, Greece has a population of 10.8 million people. Greece’s official name is the Hellenic Republic.

Greece exported US$32.6 billion worth of products around the globe in 2017. That dollar figure represents just 0.2% of overall global exports estimated at $15.952 trillion for one year prior in 2016.

About two-thirds (63.6%) of Greek exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries. Close to one quarter (23.1%) were sold to Asian importers. Lesser percentages were delivered to African customers (6.2%) with an even smaller portion (5%) going to North America.

Greece’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Greece’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Greek shipments by dollar value during 2017. Shown within parenthesis is each import country’s percentage of total Greek exports.

  1. Italy: US$3.4 billion (10.6% of total Greek exports)
  2. Germany: $2.3 billion (7.1%)
  3. Turkey: $2.2 billion (6.8%)
  4. Cyprus: $2.1 billion (6.5%)
  5. Bulgaria: $1.6 billion (4.9%)
  6. Lebanon: $1.4 billion (4.3%)
  7. United States: $1.3 billion (3.9%)
  8. United Kingdom: $1.3 billion (3.9%)
  9. Romania: $986.7 million (3%)
  10. France: $871 million (2.7%)
  11. Egypt: $850.9 million (2.6%)
  12. Spain: $790.7 million (2.4%)
  13. Saudi Arabia: $769.4 million (2.4%)
  14. Macedonia: $726.3 million (2.2%)
  15. Gibraltar: $720.8 million (2.2%)

Almost two-thirds (65.5%) of Greek exports in 2017 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Among Greece’s top 15 trade partners, Gibraltar increased its purchases of Greek exports by the highest percentage up by 70.8% from 2016.

In second place was Saudi Arabia with its 55.5% boost in imports from Greece. Turkey registered a 48% uptick, trailed by Cyprus (up 25%) and Lebanon (up 21.4%).

Deficits

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.

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

In 2017, Greece incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. Russia: -US$3.6 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
  2. Germany: -$3.6 billion
  3. Iraq: -$3.5 billion
  4. South Korea: -$3.3 billion
  5. China: -$2.5 billion
  6. Netherlands: -$2.3 billion
  7. Belgium: -$1.6 billion
  8. France: -$1.5 billion
  9. Iran: -$1.4 billion
  10. Kazakhstan: -$1.3 billion

Among trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Greece’s deficit with South Korea (up 77.7%), Iran (up 75.7%) and Iraq (up 35.3%) grew at the fastest pace.

Greece was able to whittle down its country-specific deficits with only two top partners, namely China (-10.5%) and Kazakhstan (up -7.6%).

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Greece’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Greece to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

In 2017, Greece incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. Cyprus: US$1.7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
  2. Lebanon: $1.4 billion
  3. Gibraltar: $720.2 million
  4. Turkey: $592.5 million
  5. Singapore: $478.4 million
  6. Macedonia: $472.2 million
  7. United States: $429 million
  8. Albania: $420.7 million
  9. Malta: $253 million
  10. United Arab Emirates: $225.9 million

Among Greece’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Greece went from a -$50 million deficit during 2016 to $592.5 million in black ink for 2017. Increasing country-specific Greek surpluses at the fastest percentages were with Singapore (up 81.3%), Gibraltar (up 71.9%), Albania (up 43.9%) and Cyprus (up 29.7%).

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Greece’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Greece to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Greek Trading Partners

Based on Forbes 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)


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

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 20, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 20, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 20, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 20, 2018

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on February 20, 2018