Serbia has a 14 to 15 times greater share in the world export of sheep compared to its share in the world population. The interest of foreign buyers is much higher than the domestic offer, because there is not enough or organized production and placement on foreign markets, so we come to an absurd situation that sheep from Serbia are mostly exported to foreigners.
Serbia does not have many export products for which it is known, but few people know that sheep is one of those products. Sheep from Serbia are in demand not because of the favorable price but because of the quality, but unfortunately, there are not as many of them as could be sold to foreign buyers. No one is worried about that for now, and the authorities are surprised when statistics announce that Serbia exports more sheep than the USA and Germany.
In 2022 Serbia had 3.1 times the value of sheep exports than the combined value of the exports of the USA and Germany. Compared to 2021, last year Serbia reduced the value of sheep exports by 9.2%, from 16 to 14.5 million euros. The world export of sheep decreased by 15.9%, and Serbia increased its share in world exports from about 1.276% to 1.368%.
Serbia has come a long way to break into the world elite of sheep exporters. In 2011, the value of exports was 3.6 million euros and only in 2012 there was a sharp increase in exports to 4.9 million euros. From 2012 to 2020, the value of exports fluctuated, which is related to fiscal consolidation and other reforms.
In 2020, during the corona virus pandemic, a record export value of 8.6 million euros was achieved, and in 2021, exports were almost doubled to 16 million.
The largest export of sheep from Serbia in 2022 was to Israel (5.2 million euros) and this is the record annual value of exports to this country. And exports to Montenegro had a record value of 3.5 million euros. The drop in the value of exports to BiH (from 5.4 to 3.3 million euros) and to North Macedonia (from 3.5 to 1.1 million euros) affected the drop in the total value.
Sheep from Serbia occasionally went to Libya, so last year the profit from that export was 835,000 euros, and the export to Albania was registered for the first time, for 581,000 euros.
Observed in quantity, the export of sheep decreased from 6,546 tons in 2021 to 4,506 tons in 2022. A total of 192,023 sheep were exported from Serbia in 2021, while in 2022 the number of sheep decreased to 128,526, but it was still significantly higher than in 2020.
Exporters benefited from the fact that sheep from Serbia were significantly more expensive last year, as the average head cost 83 euros in 2021 and 113 euros in 2022.