Coronavirus has already affected imports and exports worldwide with a recorded slowdown in trade, Phileleftheros reports.
And with Italy already under a national lockdown, economic fears in Cyprus are on the rise considering that it is a country with very strong trade ties. In fact, Italy is the second-ranked country for Cyprus in imported products, the first one being Greece.
The island’s Statistical Service shows that products imported from European Union countries in 2018 amounted to €5.262.9 million.
The main suppliers were Greece (€1.584 million) and Italy (€761.8 million), followed by the United Kingdom (€604.6 million), Germany (€499.6 million), Spain (€433.7 million), the Netherlands (€374.4 million), France (€189.0 million) and Belgium (€189.0 million).
Significant oil and asphalt products are imported from Italy, amounting to over €125 million in 2018. Several types of foodstuff are also very popular, such as spaghetti and other pasta.
Another very popular product is industrial tobacco, with Cyprus importing a total of €4.9m worth of products from Europe, of which €3.2m came from Italy.
Final figures for 2019 are still pending but over the first 11 months imports from Italy stood at €761m which means a slight increase will be recorded.
However, 2020 will be a different story since Italy has been severely hit by the coronavirus and closing its ports is a possibility under consideration.
This means that countries having strong trade ties with Italy, such as Cyprus, will be strongly affected. And even if ports are not closed, the fact that the Italian industry has been paralysed will certainly lead to shortages in certain products.
The table below shows the top ten categories of products imported to Cyprus from Italy, as recorded by the Statistical Service:
Products From Italy (€) Total EU Imports (€)
Petroleum products 120,187,435 154,308,531
Bitumen oil (asphalt) 7,589,182 16,857,582
Foodstuff 3,541,391 27,218,561
Plastic, art products 3,284,335 15,399,284
Industrial tobacco 3,184,083 4,858,113
Kitchen Plastic 3,139,778 11,227,091
Cocoa creams 2,875,576 3,428,017
Apples 2,424,858 2,011,913
Pet Food 2,062,753 9,316,307
Wood plates 1,696,018 6,375,793
By Marios Roussos