What does Greece import and what are the opportunities?

The Greek economy is coming out of a ten year crisis that has lead disposable income to the lowest level ever. The only booming industry at the moment is tourism. Food and drinks industry and exports are also continually developing. Recycling technologies and products are in growing demand.  Consumer products are growing towards the low end of the market due to money shortage. The construction industry is idle for many years.

A developed country with a large merchant fleet

Greece is a developed country with an economy based on the service (82.8%) and industrial sectors (13.3%). The agricultural sector contributed 3.9% of national economic output in 2017. Important Greek industries include tourism and shipping. With 28 million international tourists in 2017, Greece was the 5th most visited country in the European Union and 12th in the world.

The Greek Merchant Navy is the largest in the world, with Greek-owned vessels accounting for 15% of global deadweight tonnage as of 2017. The increased demand for international maritime transportation between Greece and Asia has resulted in unprecedented investment in the shipping industry.

Great demand for many products and materials

The Greek economy is not production based, it’s highly reliant on imports of goods and raw materials

If you ask Greeks on the street whether they prefer local tomatoes to imports, it is almost certain that 90 percent would opt for homegrown varieties, while some 50 percent have told polls that they generally consider Greek products superior to imports, especially in terms of quality.

However, this country imports hundreds of tons of fresh goods every year, including fruit and vegetables that are easy to grow here such as oranges, lemons, apples and potatoes, as well as basic meats and tons of fish from all corners of the world. Last year, we even had imports of olive oil from Germany.

Supply needed the whole year round

The main reason behind the high import bill is consumer behavior: We want to have all products all year round, irrespective of whether they?re in season or not. For example, as the season for Greek apples starts to come to an end now, sellers will begin importing to sustain demand, while when oranges are short in the summer, we still expect a glass of freshly squeezed every morning and need to supply tourists with oranges from Argentina.

Import numbers and statistics

Imports to Greece advanced 27.1 percent year-on-year to EUR 4.98 billion in June 2018, as purchases to the countries outside the EU soared 43.1 percent and those to the EU went up 15.5 percent. Considering the January to June period of 2018, imports advanced 4.5 percent to EUR 26.96 billion. Imports in Greece averaged 4038.95 EUR Million from 2001 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 6219.50 EUR Million in June of 2008 and a record low of 1919 EUR Million in August of 2001.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$13.8 billion (24.4% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $3.9 billion (6.9%)
  3. Ships, boats: $3.4 billion (6%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: $3.3 billion (5.8%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.9 billion (5%)
  6. Vehicles: $2.3 billion (4%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $2 billion (3.5%)
  8. Meat: $1.3 billion (2.3%)
  9. Iron, steel: $1.2 billion (2.1%)
  10. Aluminum: $1.1 billion (1.9%)

The top import origins for Greece are Germany ($5,17 Billions), Italy ($3,97 Billions), China ($3,4 Billions), Russia ($2,99 Billions) and the Netherlands ($2,61 Billions).

Greece’s top 10 imports

Greece’s top 10 imports accounted for 61.9% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

All 10 categories increased in value year over year, led by ships and boats via a 57.8% gain. In second place was imported aluminum (up 29.7%) closely followed by iron and steel (up 28.5%) and mineral fuels including oil (up 28.2%).

Greece’s top 10 imports accounted for 61.9% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

All 10 categories increased in value year over year, led by ships and boats via a 57.8% gain. In second place was imported aluminum (up 29.7%) closely followed by iron and steel (up 28.5%) and mineral fuels including oil (up 28.2%).Greece’s top 10 imports accounted for 61.9% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

All 10 categories increased in value year over year, led by ships and boats via a 57.8% gain. In second place was imported aluminum (up 29.7%) closely followed by iron and steel (up 28.5%) and mineral fuels including oil (up 28.2%).

Greek Imports / Sector (in million Euro)

2016 2015
Food-Animals 5,380 5,093
Beverages-Tobacco 610 562
Raw materials apart from fuels 1,092 1,110
Mining – Fuels – Lubricants 9,743 11,359
Oils & grease of animal or plant origin 244 276
Chemicals 6,842 6,793
Industrial products 5,277 4,865
Machine & Transport Equipment 9,658 8,761
Others 5,239 4,801
TOTAL 44,085 43,620

 

This entry in countries, Europe was updated on September 27, 2020 by specialist.