Although export to EU markets was raised from 30.9 to 86.3 thousand tonnes, some optimism is seen in the export of canned and breaded products
A negative balance in the food chain will meet the future government, to be formed after the early September elections and face it with a huge challenge for a radical, strategic turn in the agricultural and food sector, Poslovni Dnevnik writes on June 29, 2016.
Croatia is on the verge of the third anniversary of joining the EU, while data from 2015 shows the advantage of a direct opening of this huge market with over 500 million consumers has not been taken. On the contrary, although trading with EU members is no longer considered import, Croatian market was literally flooded last year with food bought in the joint European market. During 2012 the import of products form 27 EU states related to livestock was 212 thousand tonnes, while in 2015 it has been almost doubled, to over 403 thousand tonnes.
Although at the same time the import of meat and dairy products from third markets was reduced from 52,930 to 5,165 tonnes, this fact does not encourage as the reduction was replaced with an enormous growth from EU members. The pessimism is increased by the fact the export of Croatian companies to third markets between 2012 and 2015 has been reduced from 82 to 60 thousand tonnes. “In 2015 the largest negative export-import balance was made amount to 415 million Euro, an increase of 55% compared to the negative balance of 2012, so the overlap of import by export in 2015 fell from 32% to 39%,” warns director of Croatiastočar Branko Bobetić.
The export to EU markets has been increased from 30.9 to 86.3 thousand tonnes, but the structure of the trade brings optimism only in the numbers of canned and breaded products. This group marks the only positive score through last year’s export of 29,103 tonnes, compared to 18,2 thousand tonnes of EU import. The credit for this is addressed to Podravka and Sardina, in terms of canned products, and Vindija, which exports the breaded assortment to the UK and Austrian markets.
On the other hand the huge import of poultry is worrisome, mostly from Italy and Poland. In 2012 we imported 6,762 tonnes of chicken and turkey meat, while last year the amount was 50,917 tonnes. The import of cheese has doubled, from 36 to 67 thousand tonnes, a serious threat to the survival of domestic production. Neither Davor Romić, Agriculture Minister, nor his predecessor Tihmoir Jakovina, failed to use concrete arguments to protect local companies in front of EU Council whose embargo of Russia lead to stockpiling and price reductions.