Impact of the war in Ukraine on Greece’s and global trade

 

July-August 2022 Greek Business File, Issue No 138

Trade

by Antonis Karamalegos

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine not only has created “immense human suffering,” but it is also damaging global trade, which will likely impact low-income countries the most. In its Trade Forecast 2022-2023, the WTO said that prospects for the global economy have “darkened” since the war started in February, with the economists of the organisation downgrading their expectations for 2022 growth of merchandise trade volumes from 4.7% to 3%

Greece has also been affected by the crisis between the two countries, reporting huge changes in the value of its exports and imports with Russia and Ukraine. Especially the bilateral trade with Russia has been heavily impacted.

Exports and imports value of Greece with Russia and Ukraine

Greece has seen the value of imports from Russia to almost double in May 2022, reaching €625.5 million, recording an outstanding 94.7% increase compared to the same month in 2021.At the same time, the value of exports of Greece to Russia in May 2022 was €5.5 million, translating to a decrease of 56.9% in comparison with May 2021. Therefore, the trade balance between Greece and Russia in May 2022 was negative and amounted to €620 million (deficit), according to the latest data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Additionally, considering the period January – May 2022, the value of imports of Greece from Russia exceeded €2.8 billion, recording an increase of 117.6% in comparison with the period January – May 2021, while the value of exports of Greece to Russia fell by 31.1% year over year (y-o-y) to €47.5 million. Overall, the trade balance between Greece and Russia during the period January – May 2022 was negative and amounted το approximately €2.77 million (deficit).

It is easy to understand that the crisis between Russia and Ukraine has caused a significant increase in the value of imports of Greece from Russia and, on the contrary, a noteworthy fall in the value of exports of Greece to Russia. On the other hand, the bilateral trade between Greece and Ukraine shows opposite results with the value of imports of Greece from Ukraine falling and the value of exports of Greece to Ukraine increasing. In particular, in May 2022, the value of imports of Greece from Ukraine decreased by 23.7% y-o-y to €8.6 million, the value of exports of Greece to Ukraine increased by 46.1% y-o-y to €14.6 million with the trade balance between the two countries being positive and amounting to €6 million (surplus). Furthermore, during the period January–May 2022, the value of imports of Greece from Ukraine was €66 million, recording a y-o-y decrease of 9.8%, the value of exports of Greece to Ukraine was €44.4 million, recording a y-o-y decrease of 33.8%. Therefore, the trade balance between Greece–Ukraine during the period January–May 2022 was negative and amounted to €21.6 million (deficit)

The full article is published in the July-August 2022 Greek Business Filehere.