18 products have kept Greek exports afloat

Feta cheese / GreekTastes.com

eKathimerini — According to a study compiled by National Bank of Greece’s Economic Analysis Department, 18 products that account for 30 per cent of all Greek exports supported the local economy during the crisis. They are split into two categories:

The first category includes aluminium (1.5 percent of the global market), marble (7.5 percent), olive oil (8 percent), olives (26 percent) and feta cheese (3 percent).

The second category consists of up-and-coming goods that may only account for 3 percent of Greek exports, but have a soaring presence in international markets: They include yogurt (7 percent of the global market), ice cream (1 percent), smoked fish (2 percent) and peanuts (1.6 percent).

During the crisis years, the basic commodities held their ground with an average global market share of 2.5 percent, while the up-and-coming goods almost doubled their share to 2 percent in 2017. At the same time, the rest of Greece’s exports saw their grasp on the global market drop from 0.16 percent in 2009 to 0.12 percent last year.

Among the 18 products in the dynamic category – those that have managed to increase or retain their high market share and price level – are highly competitive commodities such as food with special quality features (olive oil, smoked fish, olives, yogurt, peanuts, feta and ice cream). There are also products that have bought into their market share by following a policy of low pricing, such as marble, cement and aluminium.

This strategy may have led to low profits or even losses, the NBG analysis showed, but has also allowed them to penetrate international markets, and after the domestic market recovers, they will be able to claim a bigger market share internationally.