Mass Imports Destroying Croatian Agriculture

Total Croatia News

The value of imported meat in the first ten months of 2017 was higher by almost 40 million euro compared to last year.

Pork, beef, processed meats, cereals, bread, pastries, cakes, cheese, milk, cottage cheese, fruit, vegetables… There is almost no product which Croatia does not import, which is a consequence of low domestic production, dependence on state incentives, deserted rural areas, and the lack of a long-term agricultural strategy. Although the export of agricultural and food products in the first ten months of last year increased by 12 percent, the negative trade balance in favor of imports amounted to 903 million euro or 6.7 billion kuna, reports Večernji List on January 22, 2018.

According to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), in the first ten months of 2017, imports of agricultural and food products grew by 13%, to 2.46 billion euro, up 279 million euro (2.1 billion kuna) compared to the same period in 2016, while the exports reached 1.56 billion euro, which was 172 million euro or 1.3 billion kuna more. Looking just at meat, imports amounted to 307.9 million euro, almost 40 million more than the year before.

“As you know, the tourist season was a record one, and we still do not have enough production to cover such high demand, at least for now. Nevertheless, numerous projects for raising new farms and processing plants, whose construction is funded from EU funds, shows that meat from Croatian farms has a secure future. What we can all do today is to buy Croatian products and in that way directly support our agricultural producers,” said Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić.

At the moment, top export products are sugar, chocolate and other cocoa products, and fish, especially tuna. The export of fish, crustaceans, and other seafood in the first ten months of 2017 totaled 132 million euros, about eight million more than a year ago.

Croatian confectioners are one of the most prosperous branches of the local economy, with the sector being ranked at the fourth position among all export industries. On the other hand, in the milk and dairy products category, Croatia has a deficit of about 150 million euro. Companies imported 200 million euro worth of milk and dairy products, approximately 40 million more than the year before, while exports, which amounted to 52.7 million euros, grew by six million euro compared to the year before. “Imports are higher by about 30%, largely due to the exceptionally high growth of imported milk, cream, and cheeses,” explained Branko Bobetić, director of the Croatiastočar industry group.

The share of imported cheeses in total Croatian consumption is 52%, which means that every other cheese came from foreign producers. Since experts predict that milk production at the EU and global level will grow this year, there are fears that imports will be even higher.

Croatia imported 172,060 tonnes of fruit for 152.6 million euro, and 130,515 tonnes of vegetables for 102.1 million euro – for a total of 71.1 kilograms per capita. All food groups are imported – tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, potatoes, salads, apples, pears… At the same time, Croatia exported fruit worth 24.2 million euro and vegetables worth 28.6 million euro.

Translated from Večernji List.


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