In an economic analysis released this month, the National Bank of Greece identified the new trends in Greek exports as well as the most “performing” products. The analysis is based on Eurostat and Comtrade data as well as on estimates made by the NBG’s services. Greek enterprises seem to have made a good use of the favorable international trade environment, with the Greek exports soaring up to 37% between the years 2009-2017. Although exports were generally hit by the economic crisis, some products resisted, either by holding their leading position or by increasing their share despite the unfavorable national economic climate. The yearly contribution of these products to the Greek GDP tripled (from 0.04% to 0.12%) in comparison with the years before the crisis, while the contribution of the rest of the products was reduced from 0.34% to 0.08%.

The Bank of Greece identified 18 products as most “dynamic”, in terms of performance and potential growth, and divided them into the three following categories:

  • High performance products. These are mostly foodstuff and represent 9% of total exports. During the years 2009-2017, they increased their market share from 3.9% to 5.0% and are expected to grow further.
  • Products that increased their market share in terms of volume by reducing their prices due to the lack of domestic demand. These are mostly construction related products and represent 11% of total exports. It is expected that with the domestic market recovering, they will be able to maintain their international presence in better terms.
  • Products that lost market share reducing their contribution from 3.2% to 2.3%. Those represent 9% of total exports and are products which follow traditional production and promotion models and will need a restructuring strategy in order to maintain their position.

 exports infographic

World export ranking: the 18 most performing exported Greek products

Established, high performance products

sea bass amna1st position: Two Greek products are world export leaders: peach compote and fresh fishes. Greece with its 20% global market share remains the first compote exporter leaving China, its largest competitor, behind by four percentage points. Greece’s global export share of sea beam and sea bass is 17%. Just four EU countries, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal make 78% of Greek fresh fish importers.

2nd position: Olives. Greek olives are exported to 88 countries and represent 26% of global olive exports. Spain and Greece alone cover 63% of global supply. 40% of total Greek olive exports are destined to USA and Germany.

3rd position: Olive oil. Greece ranks 3rd, following Spain and Italy, and covers 8% of global supply. Italy and Germany absorb 62% of Greek olive oil exports.

marble amna5th position: Marble. The main destination for Greek marble, which makes for 7.5% of world marble exports, is China. Turkey, Italy and China cover 69% of international supply with the rest of the countries limiting themselves to single-digits.

6th position: Cotton. Greece maintained its 4% market share. The devaluation of the Turkish lira against the dollar is expected to negatively affect the imports of Greek cotton to that country, which up to now was its main destination. Since 2009, Bangladesh has emerged as a new importer absorbing 4% of the Greek cotton supply.

fur amna9th position: Fur. Greece covers 3% of the global fur supply. Traditionally, the main client for Greek fur was Russia. However, Russian demand has been reduced by 16% during the last eight years. On the other hand, Denmark’s demand has been raised by 147%.

10th position: Feta cheese. With its feta cheese, Greece covers 3% of global special cheese exports. Especially after the agreement with the EU on the use of protected designation of origin (PDO) in 2017, exports have soared (Germany +98%, UK +140%, France +349%, Japan +445%).

12th position: concrete

21st position: tobacco

23rd position: aluminum

Products with the most growth potential

yogurt amna4th position: Yogurt. It represents 7% of the global yogurt exports. It is the fastest growing product in the US foodstuff market. Its main importer is Italy, where demand has risen by 646% the last 8 years. Norway has emerged as a potentially important market for Greek yogurt.

8th position: Aegina pistachios. With the USA covering alone 52% of the global pistachio supply, Greece is placed in the 8th position, holding 1.6% of the global exports. Its main market is Italy. The Netherlands and Spain show a growth in demand.

9th position: Smoked fish. Greece holds 2% of the global smoked fish exports.

12th position: meat (mutton and goat)

13th position: electricity meters

16th position: elevators

ice cream amna17th position: ice-cream





Photo credits: National Bank of Greece,