In 2012 the record export of agricultural products is expected, to surpass the last year’s value of 2.7 billion dollars. Based on the results in the first trimester, it is estimated that this year’s export will be bigger by 10%. Ranka Pavlovic has more in tour regular International Economic Chronicle.
In the last few years, the value of agricultural exports from Serbia has been growing by 500 million dollars annually. Last year, the exports included 1.7 million tons of corn, more than 500 thousand tons of wheat and flour, with profit greater than 700 million dollars.
The corn from Serbia is found with all major buyers in the world – Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Middle East. Among the bug buyers within the EU are Spain and Portugal, while approximately 15% of the total exports are directed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. The wheat is mostly exported to the countries of the region, i.e. some 70% goes to the CEFTA market, while the rest is directed primarily to the countries of the African continent.
When it comes to other cultures, like soy beans for example, for two years the Serbian production is aimed exclusively for exports. At the moment at issue are smaller amounts, although not negligible. For example, last year 50 thousand tons of soy beans were exported, and there are the conditions to repeat the same result this year. The soy from Serbia has some comparative advantages over other producers, as it is not genetically modified, and as such it is sought after worldwide, for the purposes of human food. Even companies from Japan have expressed interest, but the grand majority of the export is distributed in the EU market, and mostly Italy.
Speaking of other agrarian products, second-ranked for the value of exports is sugar, with profits of 135 million dollars, followed by frozen raspberries, wheat and sunflower oil. Last year Serbia gained the surplus of 1.3 billion dollars in the foreign trade exchange of agricultural and food products, and the total value of the exchange was four billion dollars. The EU marker is Serbia’s biggest partner, consuming a half of the national food exports, while somewhat smaller amount if distributed in the CEFTA region. Among the EU countries, Germany is the leading buyer, which brought the profit of more than 200 million dollars last year, i.e. over 7% of the total exports. Most sought after products were frozen raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and other fruits.
There are 800 thousand families in Serbia, working in agriculture, and the number of those interested to get involved with this branch of economy is growing. In line with the growing numbers of population, this field of work is gaining in importance, not only on the local level, but on the global scale as well, despite the crisis of any kind.