Course of ex­ports wor­ries mar­ket

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The agro-foodand phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­tries are evolv­ing into strong play­ers in the Greek ex­ports busi­ness, as drugs con­tinue to con­sti­tute Greece’s most im­por­tant ex­port­ing com­mod­ity – fuel prod­ucts ex­cluded – while eight out of the top 20 Greek ex­ports are food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

The ques­tion is how long ex­port­ing com­pa­nies can stand the pres­sures on ex­ter­nal trade com­ing from in­side and out­side the coun­try’s bor­ders. Ex­port data for the first nine months of the year are com­fort­ing but do not re­ally gen­er­ate any op­ti­mism, as the rel­a­tive rise recorded is only down to the soar­ing of ex­ports in Septem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pan­hel­lenic Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion, the to­tal value of Greek ex­ports (in­clud­ing fuel prod­ucts) in Jan­uary-Septem­ber 2016 came to 18.31 bil­lion eu­ros, against 19.02 bil­lion eu­ros in the same pe­riod last year. This con­sti­tutes a de­cline of 3.7 per­cent on 2015, which would have been far greater were it not for the ma­jor rise seen in Septem­ber. In the year to end-Au­gust ex­ports had shrunk 6.3 per­cent from a year ear­lier.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Christina Sakel­lar­idi re­mains re­served: “Although ex­ports data – ex­clud­ing fuel – would be a sign of an­other record in terms of value, as this has been the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year ex­ceed­ing 18 bil­lion eu­ros, fig­ures so far in­clude com­par­isons with the ir­reg­u­lar pe­ri­ods of last year, par­tic­u­larly the third quar- ter, when the cap­i­tal con­trols had just been im­posed and ex­ports took a di­rect hit.”

Nev­er­the­less if Euro­pean Com­mis­sion fore­casts for a 3.6 per­cent an­nual rise in ex­ports next year prove cor­rect, this will en­tail a gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in­crease of at least 1.5 per­cent.

Af­ter fuel prod­ucts – which due to their price are per­ma­nently at the top – the sec­ond place in the list of the most im­por­tant ex­ported prod­ucts be­longs to drugs. The top 20 also in­cludes olive oil, cheese, fish, veg­eta­bles, fruit (such as apri­cots, cher­ries and peaches) and cot­ton.

Italy re­mains the top des­ti­na­tion of Greek ex­ports, fol­lowed by Ger­many, Cyprus, Bul­garia and Turkey.

fuel prod­ucts – which due to their price are per­ma­nently at the top of Greece’s ex­ports list – sec­ond place be­longs to drugs. The top 20 also in­cludes olive oil, cheese, fish, veg­eta­bles, fruit such as apri­cots, cher­ries and peaches, and cot­ton.

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