Eurozone increasingly important for Greek trade

19/06/2015 15:00

The importance of the eurozone as a trading partner for Greece has increased substantially in 2015. In the past, the eurozone was less relevant for Greece as a trading partner. EU member state Germany, for example, has overtaken Russia as largest supplier of goods. At the same time, Italy ousted Turkey as main export destination. In absolute figures, Greek trade with the eurozone countries also expanded as Statistics Netherlands reported today.

In the first four months of this year, the trade with EU member states accounted for 39 percent Greece’s trade value, versus 35 percent in the same period last year. In particular for Greek exports, the eurozone is now much important than in 2014, although, as yet, the pre-crisis level has not been reached. In the first four months of 2007, EU countries accounted for nearly half of total Greek trade with eurozone countries.

In the period January-April 2015, Greece imported goods worth 5.9 billion euros from eurozone countries. The value of exports amounted to 3.2 billion euros. Imports from the eurozone grew by 4 percent relative to the same period last year, exports by 21 percent and total trade by 9 percent.

Share eurozone in Greek trade (January-April in each year)

Germany overtakes Russia as biggest supplier of goods

In 2015, euro country Germany has overtaken non-euro country Russia as Greece’s biggest supplier of goods. Prior to 2011, Germany was also Greece’s most important trading partner, but subsequently Russia took over. Trade with Russia plummeted over the past twelve months, mainly due to slumping Russian oil exports. Currently, Russia is the third largest trading partner for Greece after Germany and Italy.

Share main import partners Greece in 2014 and 2015 (January-April in each year)

Italy regains its position as most important destination for Greek exports

A similar situation applies to Greek exports. Here, too, a non-euro country is ousted by a euro country; this year, Italy has replaced Turkey as Greece’s main export destination, after having acquired first position in 2008, 2009 and 2011. In 2007 and 2010, Germany was Greece’s most important trading partner. Despite the economic dip, Turkey’s share in Greek exports has doubled to 8 percent since 2007.

Share main export partners Greece in 2014 and 2015 (January-April in each year)

Netherlands more important for Greece than vice versa

The Netherland is more important for Greece than vice versa. In 2014, the Netherlands was the 16th export country and the 7th import country for Greece. Conversely, Greece was the 33rd export country and the 67th import country. Obviously, a large trading nation has more influence on a small trading nation than vice versa. Last year, Dutch goods trade was nearly 13 times as big as the Greek goods trade.