Croatian Export Results for 4 Months of 2021 Overtake Those of 2019

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, it was expected that Croatian export results would be higher in March and April than they were last year, when the economy in all major markets stopped due to the lockdown and trade flows were interrupted. However, the latest preliminary data from official statistics show something unexpected – that a record export year has begun in Croatia.

In the first four months of 2021, Croatian producers placed 5.5 billion euros’ worth of products on foreign markets, which is more, even on an annual level, than was achieved in the hitherto record 2019 export year. At that time, the cumulative Croatian export results in those four months was 4.9 billion euros. Last year, 4.6 billion euros were exported in the first four months.

When it comes to precisely which sector of production and which markets deserve the most credit for this step forward, more can be read from more detailed data that will be published by the Central Bureau of Statistics in around one month, but from that data processed for the first quarter of 2021, it can be inferred that pharmaceutical production, unsurprisingly given the public health crisis, did the best.

Their results in the first quarter was as much as one third better than they were last year, and double-digit growth rates were also recorded by wood processors, the agriculture sector, exporters of electrical equipment, rubber and plastic products, and the metal industry. In fact, it is simpler to list those who had a negative export score – the textile, automotive, shipbuilding, chemical and refined petroleum sectors/products.

INA’s crude oil, which even before the coronavirus pandemic began being exported to Hungary for processing in the MOL refineries, should be added to the previous list of exporters who have made great strides forward, thanks to which Hungary has entered the ranks of the most important Croatian export markets.

According to state statisticians, Italy has regained its leading position on the Croatian export list, which it lost during the pandemic, and is again ahead of Germany after one year.

In the first three months of 2021, 22.5 percent more was exported to Italy than in the same period last year, a total of 520 million euros, about 8 million euros more than to Germany, which also recorded a better export result (5.5%). In total, the Croatian economy exported goods worth 4 billion euros in the first quarter of this year (8.6% more than it did in the first quarter of 2019).

For the first time in a long time, exports to Austria also increased, and among EU member states, when compared to last year, producers had a weaker result only with sales to Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia, Portugal and Romania.

An increase in exports and as such Croatian export results was also finally realised on the neighbouring market of Bosnia and Herzegovina, although the country was overtaken by Hungary for the first time, thanks to INA and MOL.

Croatia’s 72 percent annual growth in Croatian exports is also interesting because at the EU level, exports to the United States had a negative trend in the first quarter, falling by 4.5%, reflecting trade tensions and tariffs imposed by the transatlantic partners during the former Donald Trump administration.

Pliva and the Karlovac arms manufacturer HS Produkt contributed the most to the growth of exports to the USA. If we compare the statistical indicators, the record year for Croatian exporters was 2019, this year in the first three months 158 million euros were exported, but at the same time, back in pre-pandemic 2019, the result was as much as 192 million euros.

This slow but steady global recovery will also contribute to the good trend in the placement of Croatian goods on international markets, especially in the Eurozone, where Croatia’s most important foreign trade partners come from.

For more, follow our business section.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment