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Not Just Olive Oil: What Are Greece’s Top Exports?

You can probably guess which products are the most commonly exported from Greece. You probably imagine olive oil, feta cheese, and ouzo. However, did you know that one of Greece’s exports (not a food) is 15 times more valuable than its olive oil exports. Did you know that one of Greece’s largest food exports is tropical fruits?

 

Where is this Data From?

The data in this article comes from Greece’s 2023 Exports-Imports provisional data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority and the Greece data of the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

What Are Greece’s Top Exports?

Greece’s top export, by far, is petroleum. Greece exports petroleum products all over Europe and around the world. In fact, petroleum is 20 times more valuable than olive oil exports for Greece. Next on the list of Greece’s exports are some slightly more boring items: packaged medicaments and aluminum products. These are still more valuable than olive oil as an export. (Don’t worry, food is coming later in this article).

Greek Feta Cheese

Which Countries Does Greece Export To?

Believe it or not, Greek products were exported to 227 countries. The most common countries where Greece exports are Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Cyprus, USA, and Spain, in that order.

 

Italy (11.6%)
Bulgaria (7.0%)
Germany (6.7%)
Cyprus (6.5%)
USA (4.2%)
Spain (4.1%)

Ship Near Athens

Popular Exports from Greece

Olive Oil

You probably guessed this one. Believe it or not, Italy is the largest buyer of Greek olive oil because the Italians buy it in bulk to make blends. The Italians are very good at marketing branded olive oils, so they can buy for a low price and sell a premium product. Also, Italy can sell more olive oil if it imports from Greece, because olive oil is cheaper in large quantities in Greece than when buying in Italy.

 

Olive Oil in Ancient Greece

Olive trees have been in Greece since the times of antiquity. The olive tree represented the link between man and the Earth. The olive branch was given as an award for the Ancient Olympics. Olive oil was used for cleaning, perfumes, lighting, preservation of food, and medicine.

 

Olive Oil in Greece Today

Most of Greece’s olive oil is made in the Peloponnese and in Crete, but the olive trees are all over the country. Greek olive oil is considered top quality and is made in the country’s ideal soil. 80% of Greece’s olive oil is considered extra virgin – the top category in the world.

Greek Wines

Greek wines are slowly getting more popular internationally. With the premium wines and unique vintages, Greek wines are now selling for higher prices abroad. Last year, prices of Greek wine jumped 4.5% in international markets.

 

Some of the largest price jumps were in wine exports to France (12.7% more expensive) and to the US (6.4% more expensive).

 

Some people think of Santorini and the Greek islands when they bring to mind Greek wines. Others might know only retsina, the pine-infused variety that was mass-produced in the mid-20th century. However, Greece’s wines are making a comeback. there is a lot of diversity in wine-growing regions in Greece, and among these varieties are red wines that you definitely need to taste.

Assyrtiko Wine in Santorini

Marble and Alabaster

These building materials are found in Greece’s mountains.One of the best marbles for art historically in Greece is Parian marble. It is a pure white and flawless marble that was first used in the classical era on the island of Paros. The ancient Greeks used it for sculptures like Venus de Milo, Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, for the Parthenon’s roof, and later for Napoleon’s tomb. It can also be found in Delos, Delphi, Athens, and Olympia in public buildings.

 

Greece also exports a lot of building materials to China, believe it or not. 

Parthenon Columns

Tropical Fruits

Believe it or not, one of Greece’s largest categories of exports are “tropical fruits”, according to the OEC. Among the most popular tropical fruits in Greece are avocados, which are produced in Crete. Plus, aates and figs are a popular export, and are a great combination with other Greek foods.

Figs

Coffee

Greece is known for its terrific coffee, and its top country of export is Cyprus. Greece’s coffee culture comes from Ottoman times, when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire. The traditional “Greek coffee” – a dense, strong shot of espresso served in a tiny cup – likely became popular in the early 19th century. It contrasts with coffee culture in Italy, where you find cafe bars and customers standing to drink their coffee.

 

 In Greece, there are always tables in coffee shops, and a cup of coffee with friends can sometimes last for hours. Usually, the first thing you do with a new friend or acquaintance — whether romantic or platonic — is to go for a coffee. Although the typical invitation is “πάμε για καφέ” (let’s go for coffee), it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to order coffee. Tea and other drinks are available. Order with a smile, and you just might find a traditional local dessert on your plate as well!

Traditional Greek Coffee

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