Greece exported US$57.4 billion worth of products around the world in 2022. That dollar amount results from a 45.3% gain from $39.5 billion during 2018.
From 2021 to 2022, the overall value of Greek exports rose 21.5% compared to $47.2 billion in 2021.
Greece is a relatively small player in international trade. Its $57.4 billion in exports equals about 0.3% of the value for globally exported goods from all countries (an estimated $22.144 trillion for 2021).
Applying a continental lens, 69.4% of Greece exports by value was delivered to fellow European countries while 16.4% was sold to Asian importers. Greece shipped another 7.6% worth of goods to Africa.
Smaller percentages went to North America (4.8%), Latin America (1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.9%) led by Australia and the Marshall Islands.
Greece’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Greece’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Greek shipments by dollar value during 2022. Shown within parenthesis is each import country’s percentage of total Greek exports.
- Italy: US$6 billion (10.4% of total Greek exports)
- Bulgaria: $4.5 billion (7.8%)
- Germany: $3.7 billion (6.5%)
- Cyprus: $3.4 billion (5.9%)
- Türkiye: $2.6 billion (4.6%)
- United States: $2.33 billion (4.1%)
- United Kingdom: $2.26 billion (3.9%)
- Spain: $2.21 billion (3.8%)
- Libya: $1.92 billion (3.4%)
- Romania: $1.91 billion (3.3%)
- North Macedonia: $1.84 billion (3.2%)
- France: $1.77 billion (3.1%)
- Lebanon: $1.67 billion (2.9%)
- Gibraltar: $1.28 billion (2.2%)
- Netherlands: $1.27 billion (2.2%)
- Poland: $972.2 million (1.7%)
- Israel: $902.8 million (1.6%)
- Albania: $876.2 million (1.5%)
- Malta: $763.9 million (1.3%)
- South Korea: $751.7 million (1.3%)
- Belgium: $733.1 million (1.3%)
- Tunisia: $578.6 million (1%)
- Slovenia: $577 million (1%)
- Saudi Arabia: $576.9 million (1%)
- Serbia: $571 million (1%)
Four-fifths (80.1%) of Greek exports in 2022 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
Posting triple-digit gains in their purchases of Greek exports were Gibraltar (up 107.3% from 2021), Bulgaria (up 101.6%) and Malta (up 100.6%).
There were 4 decliners among Greece’s top 25 customers. These were customers in South Korea (down -30.8%), Saudi Arabia (down -20.5%), France (down -19%) and Tunisia (down -2.5%).
Countries Causing the Greatest Trade Deficits for Greece
Greece experienced a -$40.3 billion trade deficit during 2022, a 40.2% increase from the -$30 billion in red ink for 2021.
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 2022, Greece incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- Russia: -US$9.6 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- mainland China: -$7.9 billion
- Iraq: -$7.1 billion
- Germany: -$5.3 billion
- Netherlands: -$3.4 billion
- Kazakhstan: -$2.8 billion
- Azerbaijan: -$2.43 billion
- Belgium: -$1.82 billion
- France: -$1.8 billion
- Saudi Arabia: -$1.5 billion
Among Greece’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Greek deficits with Saudi Arabia (up 1,209%), Azerbaijan (up 277.8%) and France (up 109.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
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.
Countries Generating the Strongest Trade Surpluses for Greece
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 2022, Greece incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- Cyprus: US$2.8 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- Lebanon: $1.6 billion
- Bulgaria: $1.5 billion
- United Kingdom: $1.34 billion
- Gibraltar: $1.28 billion
- North Macedonia: $1.1 billion
- Romania: $838.5 million
- Malta: $672.2 million
- Tunisia: $516.8 million
- Albania: $455.2 million
Among Greece’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Greek surpluses with Gibraltar (up 107.3%), Malta (up 104%) and United Kingdom (up 76.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
In addition, Greece transitioned from posting a -$98.6 million deficit trading with Bulgaria in 2021 to reaping the trade surplus listed above.
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.
Major Greek Export Companies
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 Greece’s Top 10 Imports, Greece’s Top 10 Imports, italy’s Top 10 Exports and Top EU Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on April 11, 2023
Forbes 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 11, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 11, 2023
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on April 11, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on April 11, 2023