Australian importers of Greek products have had to work more strategically due to the Australian dollar’s fluctuating price and the Greek crisis.
The dollar’s strength in recent months – due to economic uncertainty in Europe and the US – has pushed companies to buy more at a cheaper price.
Peter Economou, the financial controller for Delta, an importer for Greek food products, uses the dollar’s high value to buy euro currency to make sure that their prices always stay low.
“We’ve got a euro account, so we buy Euros against the Australian dollar,” he told Neos Kosmos, but in doing so, they make sure to only buy what’s necessary.
“We’ll be buying according to our needs,” Mr Economou says.
Annually, Australia imports $151 million worth of products from Greece, with most of the products being food, alcohol, medical products and metals. Greek exports have been falling from mid last year, but have risen slightly since January.
In relation to the crisis, importers have found they need to be more up front with their payment.
Mr Economou mentions that with their strained Greek suppliers, “the only problem we have is that they ask for the money well in advance.”
Flox Wines and Spirits, who import from 14 countries, are quite aware of how desperate times are getting for Greek suppliers. The climate around Europe has forced suppliers to pay up front even for their packaging and cartons.
Representative of Flox Wines and Spirits, Lukas Papargiris, says problems have arisen for suppliers trying to source stock.
“It’s quite bleak. Suppliers are having problems sourcing stock, their terms of credit have expired and they have to pre pay for their stock.”
Despite the miserable outlook for suppliers, Australian importers are flourishing quite well.
Although the demand for Greek products in Australia has weakened a little, it is not a direct relation to the crisis.
As a food obsessed nation, Australians are becoming savvier with their products and are asking for more international quality goods to quench their thirst, meaning Greek products have taken a back seat for more exotic trends.
Spain is the largest importer for Flox Wines and Spirits showing a shift in the Australian market from Greek products.
Although Mr Papargiris is quick to point out that it is more economically viable to rely on more than one supplier.
“Predominantly we’re spoilt for choice here. If we did depended on Greek products alone I don’t think it would be viable and we wouldn’t be here.”
Alternatively, Australia exports $40 million worth of products each year to Greece.