Agricultural and Food Exports Growth Slows Down

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, January 25, 2019 – Croatian agricultural and food exports continued to grow last year, but at a lower rate than in previous years, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said in a statement on Friday.

In the first ten months of 2018, compared with the same period of 2017, agricultural and food exports increased by 5% to 1.64 billion euro, while imports rose by 4% to 2.55 billion euro. Coverage of imports by exports increased from 63% to 64%.

In 2017, agricultural and food exports rose by 7.5% from 2016, when they had increased by nearly 13% from the previous year.

“The fact that in the first nine months of 2018, compared with the same period of 2017, the growth of the agricultural trade deficit was halted is encouraging. However, this year’s deficit could still exceed one billion euros, which continues to be a concern,” HGK vice-president for agriculture and tourism Dragan Kovačević said.

He added that Croatia still recorded the largest deficit in trade with meat and edible meat offal, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables. “This indicates a poor structure of agricultural production and low productivity, but also the fact that EU funding and rural development measures still have no effect,” Kovačević said.

“In order to increase the volume of agricultural production and productivity, which is far below the EU average, along with absorbing funding from rural development programmes, Croatian agricultural production needs to be regionalised to ensure a stronger role of grants in increasing competitiveness,” he concluded.

Looking at overall trade in the first ten months of 2018, it also increased by 5% from the same period of 2017, reaching 12 billion euro. At the same time, imports increased by 8% to 19.8 billion euro, with coverage of imports by exports falling from 63% to 61%.

Agricultural and food products accounted for 13% of exports and 14% of imports, the HGK said.

More news on Croatia’s agriculture can be found in the Business section.


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