Greece’s external trade has started the year with a rise, and the balance remains positive even when certain factors that distort the real picture of exports and imports are excluded.

The total value of exports in January 2017 came to 2.12 billion euros, against 1.71 billion in January 2016, posting an increase of 23.9 percent. According to the Panhellenic Exporters Association, most of that massive increase was due to the delivery of new ships from Asian shipyards, while the valuations of fuel imports and exports at considerably higher rates in the first month of the year also played a role.

Excluding fuel products, the increase amounted to 6.3 percent, while excluding the ships it came to 4.4 percent.

The impact of the ship transactions was even greater on imports. This sent the total value of imports soaring 52.1 percent year-on-year to 4.46 billion euros, from 2.93 billion in January 2016. Excluding fuel, the rise reached 44.4 percent, while when ships are take out of the equation the increase came to 11.4 percent.

It therefore appears the omens are good for 2017, although no one can predict what will happen in the coming months.