Greek Leader Looks to China for Much-Needed Trade

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The Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will be visiting China between 15 and 19 May. He will be accompanied by Greek officials and several businessmen – exclusively invited to join him on the trade mission.

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Greek Leader Looks to China for Much Needed Trade | Olive Oil Times

Mr. Samaras will meet with the new political leadership to discuss possible Chinese investments in Greece. Subjects on the agenda will cover all aspects of the economy.

Greece is in desperate need of cash to deal with its recent bailout program and pressing social unrest. Greece has been receiving more than $350 billion in installment payments against harsh austerity measures, and the economic situation had led to prolonged recession.

On the other hand, the Greek government is very interested in opening the Chinese market for Greek products, especially in the agricultural sector. This includes olive oil, which is one of the leading in the group of Greek products highly appreciated by foreigners.

The production period that ended in February brought encouraging results. Olive fruit production was very high, however the total olive oil production had a below average yield due to weather conditions. Still, the season managed to reach record numbers. Moreover, olive oil prices remain at spike levels withstanding pressure from abroad.

The ongoing Price Monitoring Service of the Oil Association of Municipalities of Crete in Greece, reports today that bulk prices for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) stands at € 2.50, for immediate delivery, FOB Crete. It is almost double what producers received in recent years.

This price tag is inflated by the fact that Spain, the major producer in Mediterranean basin, has suffered a severe production decline due to the drought that hit the country last year. However, it is an encouraging go-signal for the Greek officials and local market movers.

According to the Panhellenic Exporters Association, olive oil exports have shown a spectacular increase of 221 percent, while only 90 percent of the growth was attributed to shipments to the traditional trading partners of Greece. New markets accounted for the rest.

In general, agricultural products had approximately a 10 or 11 percent year-to-year increase according to recent data published by the ElStat, the Greek Statistical Agency.

These figures, along with a strong demand of Greek olive oil in the Far East, where it is often used as a medicine, encourages the Greek Prime Minister in Beijing. The Greek government strongly believes that olive oil is a reliable product to promote in bilateral trading relations extremely favored by the Greek soil and climate conditions.

By Michael Angelopoulos
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Anavyssos, Greece

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