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Serbia is stockpiling

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The Republic Directorate for Commodity Reserves will increase the stocks of all products so that they can meet the quarterly needs of the population.

Some goods that we import will be provided in larger quantities than these, Novosti writes.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday that an order had been given to increase our commodity reserves, and that money would be provided for that purpose without jeopardizing the public debt rate. He said that the prices of all raw materials on the world market are skyrocketing. However, as he added, we have an advantage over other countries that have not yet started buying anything.

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The Ministry of Trade points out that Serbia is a serious food producer, among the top 10 in Europe, and that shortages do not threaten us in the least.

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“In the coming period, the Republic Directorate for Commodity Reserves will increase the level of stocks by three months for all products. We primarily mean stocks of energy, then wheat, corn, sugar, oil. For some products we import, such as rice, beans and salt. “The quantities will be increased in more than three months,” the ministry told the paper.

In case of disturbances at the global level, as they point out, Serbia, as a food producer, can protect the domestic market with its customs policy, that is, prevent the export of strategic products and thus ensure a full supply of basic foodstuffs. They point out that the decision to increase commodity reserves was influenced by events at the global level, and in the first place it is the constant inflationary pressures on the prices of basic living products.

“Another reason is the possibility of a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two countries that are serious producers of food and energy, and because of that many countries have increased their reserves. For example, China has increased its reserves by a year and a half,” they explain to the Ministry.

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Experts estimate that the increase in commodity reserves is an extremely important measure in the conditions of current trends in the world. Agroeconomist Milan Prostran points out that the trend of rising food prices will continue for sure until September, until it is clear what the agricultural year will be like.

“Regardless of the fact that we are an agrarian country and have enough food for our needs, the state must increase the current volume of the most vital products in commodity reserves. There is no reason to worry, but we need to create most of our reserves from our own production. to support domestic farmers as well.China, which has great development and growth rate, and is the largest food producer, bought all surplus basic food products for about $ 70 billion a month ago, “says Prostran.

“If food is so expensive, why so much bread in containers?”

Then, as he states, other EU countries, such as France, started to sell their products with more restraint, so that they can always keep certain quantities and increase their stocks. Zarko Malinovic, from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, points out that commodity reserves are one of the tools for stabilizing the market. In the situation of global demand growth, when there may be a supply disruption, he estimates that the decision to increase stocks is very important.

Ten-year maximum

Serbia’s decision to provide larger quantities of commodity reserves comes in circumstances when world food prices rose again in January and are close to a ten-year maximum. According to the analysis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), vegetable oils have become more expensive. The rise in food prices, they say, contributes to the general rise in inflation, which has become more vampiric with the recovery of the economy from the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, energy prices are raging on the global market, and the value of crude oil is reaching a seven-year record.

Frozen prices are also stabilizing

The government has frozen the prices of six basic foodstuffs, and from February 8, the validity of this measure will be extended for another 90 days.

“And that is one of the instruments for stabilizing the market, but it is not a permanent measure, because it harms those whose prices are limited. For now, everyone in that chain is disciplined and respects this measure,” says Prostran.

Namely, the association of the mill, bakery and pasta industry of Serbia “Ĺ˝itounija” yesterday expressed dissatisfaction because their members, industrial mills, bear all the costs of the decision to freeze the price of flour in small packages of one to five kilograms, indicating that in other countries such measures fall at the expense of the government. They state that they have submitted proposals to the competent ministries to solve the problem of losses, B92 reports.

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