Agricultural production main driver behind exports in Aegean region

A recent report released by the Aegean Exporters' Union (EIB) showed that agricultural exports, which increased by 16 percent in March year-on-year, are the main driving force behind overall exports of the region.

According to the report, overall exports in March in the Aegean region approached $1.1 billion, of which agricultural exports made up $392.9 million. Olive and olive oil exporters achieved the highest increase of all the country's exports, a rise of about 284 percent. However, the report also indicated that industrial exports decreased and exports overall actually decreased by 3 percent when compared to the same month of 2012. The union said that among its 12 exporter sub-groups, the olive and olive oil producers group -- with its 284 percent increase in exports -- saw the highest rise in exports over one year, from $12.1 million in March 2012 to $46.6 million this year.

All of the EIB's exports totaled $2.9 billion in the first quarter, bringing the total export figure of the past year to $11.4 billion. The report said the union aims to bring total agricultural exports to $4 billion by the end of this year.

The iron and non-iron metals exporters group achieved the highest export figure among the 12 groups by exporting $139.3 million worth of production. The garment exporters group came second with exports of $112.7 million, and the mining exporters group followed the ranking with exports of $74.2 million.