Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Why it is hypocritical to be worried about Greek exports just now.

I haven’t written about exports for a while, no scrap that, I haven’t written a post altogether in quite a long time. What prompted today’s post is the fact that a lot of people, bodies relevant to exports/entrepreneurship even, have been making quite a lot of noise regarding the plummeting of Greek merchandise exports in the first months of 2014. I find that quite shocking and hypocritical to be honest for a couple of reasons. In order to find what those reasons are I’m afraid that you have to read the remainder of the post though.

Here’s a chart with a breakdown of change in merchandise exports according to their destination.

source: Eurostat, own calculations

Exports to both EU27 countries’ and elsewhere have been declining on a year over year basis and what’s more exports to nonEU27 countries have been posting very hefty declines.

If you want a more smoothed out view of the chart above, here it is.

source: Eurostat, own calculations

In 2011 I had written that the phenomenal spike in Greek exports was mostly due to oil products that were mainly channeled tonon-EU countries. I think that it is interesting and revealing to take a look at how oil-related and non-oil exports have fared these past few years.

source: Eurostat

source: Eurostat, own calculations
source: Eurostat, own calculations

As you can see non-oil exports have been stagnating the whole period following the great trade collapse in 2009. What growth there was, was indeed in the oil products segment.

This is why I am shocked that relevant bodies are making noise regarding Greek exports just now. I don’t know about you but the whole scene makes me think of a bunch of people conversing at a post-funeral coffee-offering setting and trying to reach conclusions about what will make the deceased “feel better”. It’s a tad absurd, isn’t it? These noises should have been made 3-4 years back. 

P.S.  If you would like to see how oil-related and non-oil exports have fared for EU27 and non-EU27 countries here are a couple of charts.

source: Eurostat, own calculations
source; Eurostat, own calculations

(The fact that exports to EU27 countries have fared relatively better than those to non-EU27 countries can (at least partly) be blamed to the plummeting of EM currencies during early 2014 which significantly reduced purchasing power among those countries' consumers/firms)

1 comment:

  1. Good afternoon and thanks for this insightful article. I just want to point out that Greek exports have had quite an increase in the past years. In my humble opinion this entails that Greece is at least doing something right! i truly feel that if Greeks sell their national products right and by targeting the right markets they are bound to have many monetary and growth returns.