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Serbia will not reach a record in wheat exports

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Serbia has about 800,000 tons of grain for export, which will certainly not reach the record export of wheat, which will be contributed by the price on the domestic market, which is higher compared to Ukraine and Russia, said the director of the Association “Zita Srbije” Sunčica Savović. 

As she stated, as far as supplies are concerned, Serbia will never have a shortage of grain, because it is self-sufficient, and last year a good wheat crop was achieved, just over 3.2 million tons.

“We have a surplus for export of just over 800,000 tons, which is slightly less than in the years when exports were record high, where we exported one million tons of wheat and even more than that and just over three million tons of corn,” said Savović.

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The domestic market consumes about 150,000 tons on a monthly basis, which is about 1.8 million tons of annual maximum consumption, when added to that, Serbia exported over 600,000 tons of wheat and flour calculated per grain in the period from the beginning of July to the end of February, she pointed out.

When asked where the most wheat is exported, she said that our stocks are sold to the markets of countries in the region, including Italy and Albania, while Serbia markets more than 600,000 tons of goods, provided that our price is competitive.

“Our main market years ago were Asian countries such as China and South Korea, as well as the countries of the Middle and Far East and the countries of North Africa, but we are not able to sell directly because Serbia does not have a seaport, while the main port for transshipment of our grains is the Romanian port of Constanta,” said Savović.

She pointed out that, observing the geopolitical circumstances, the most suitable advice regarding the sale of grain is to sell a third of the wheat before the harvest as grains, the other third to be sold during the harvest and to store the remaining third, as well as the largest quantities, after the harvest.

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Exports can be started at any time, which is currently happening in certain quantities, but it certainly depends on how competitive our price is with Bulgarian, Hungarian and Romanian wheat, as well as with Russian and Ukrainian wheat, which we cannot avoid as long as the agreement on the transportation of grain through the Black Sea Corridor, which ensures the export of Ukrainian wheat from all Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea, is in force,” she said.

Savović pointed out that the price of wheat last week was 23.5 dinars per kilogram, which is not an easy situation for domestic producers, bearing in mind that Russia plans to export another 10 to 12 million tons of wheat by the time of the new harvest, between the rest will result in a price drop at the beginning of next week, but it also depends on the movement on the stock market.

The Directorate for Commodity Reserves of Russia announced on Monday that it will probably intervene by buying some larger quantities on the domestic market in order to help producers and influence the rise in prices on the domestic and world markets.

Considering that there was a drought in the past two years, our corn and soybean producers had an extremely devastating harvest, which also decreased the quality of the corn.

“Last year, the corn harvest was 4.65 million tons, while our record production was recorded at eight million tons. 

At the beginning of the marketing year, we had stocks of slightly less than 400,000 tons of corn, but due to restrictions, the export of corn due to the small crop and problems with quality is extremely symbolic,” she pointed out.

From the first of October to the end of February, barely 270,000 tons of corn were exported, which means that at this moment, with domestic needs completely covered until the new corn harvest, which has not even been sown yet, that is, until October 1 of this year, we have surpluses for export and transferred stocks of about 600,000 tons, but at the same time we have big problems with quality, which is why it is extremely difficult to export.

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