Croatia- Consumer Oriented Agricultural Products

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in Croatia

Posted on: 17 May 2013

Demand for medium to high quality consumer foods will continue to rise along with Croatia’s standard of living and the volume of US products

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary - Public Date: 4/24/2013 GAIN Report Number: HR1203 Croatia Post: Zagreb Consumer Oriented Agricultural Products Report Categories: Market Development Reports Approved By: Christine Sloop Prepared By: Andreja Misir Report Highlights: Demand for medium to high quality consumer foods will continue to rise along with Croatia’s standard of living and the volume of US products currently being transshipped from EU ports is likely to increase with the removal of the Croatian duty rates on commerce coming from other Member States. General Information: Demand for medium to high quality consumer foods will continue to rise along with Croatia’s standard of living and the volume of US products currently being transshipped from EU ports is likely to increase with the removal of the Croatian duty rates on commerce coming from other Member States. Miscellaneous Consumer Foods Croatia’s total imports in miscellaneous consumer foods vary around $1.5 billion. In the last few years, flourishing tourism on the Dalmatian coast and rebounding consumer demand in urban areas have fueled a growing demand for consumer foods. Retail distribution channels have also multiplied with a growth spurt in the number of supermarket outlets. However, a slight softening in consumer demand for high value foods has also been noticed as a result of the global economic crisis. Trade statistics on American exports to Croatia in this category are severely understated due to transshipment via the EU. Croatia Import Statistics Commodity: Consumer Oriented Agric. Total, Group 32 (2012) Calendar Year: 2010 - 2012 United States Dollars Partner Country 2010 2011 2012 World 1,373,629,255 1,562,390,011 1,504,869,414 Germany 229,426,814 272,991,688 267,920,749 Italy 195,287,916 212,522,634 206,489,134 Netherlands 111,235,808 129,730,857 124,801,429 Poland 75,010,971 96,195,020 92,862,980 Bosnia & Herzegovina 85,473,240 99,824,762 89,673,422 Hungary 67,299,902 82,698,525 83,682,793 Austria 78,346,245 87,232,775 78,856,836 Slovenia 52,509,418 65,129,551 67,049,296 Spain 44,174,658 61,698,199 63,561,773 Macedonia 37,272,357 37,697,770 37,587,005 Serbia 29,852,993 32,568,832 35,710,969 Ecuador 34,119,840 35,924,869 34,535,671 Brazil 31,397,482 31,660,225 33,448,642 Belgium 27,207,954 33,849,876 29,476,819 France 28,622,255 33,628,029 27,174,764 Czech Republic 21,072,792 22,576,971 21,790,081 United States 22,402,226 22,629,251 21,410,488 The rest 202,916,384 203,830,177 188,836,563 Source of Data: Croatian Bureau of Statistics from GTA Interesting Sub-Sector Prospects that are not constricted with SPS/TBT issues: World imports of fresh fruit and vegetables together with processed fruits and vegetables totaled $322 million in 2012. However, US processed fruit and vegetable exports to Croatia were valued at only $2.3 million. This is a good sector because Croatia is not self sufficient in fruit production and will always import exotic fruits. Moreover, this is a sector more or less free from issues related to technical barriers to trade. Another interesting sector is tree nuts. Croatia imported 2,962 metric tons (MT) of tree nuts in 2012, valued at $19 million. Over $6.5 million, mostly almonds, came from the United States. Croatia’s almond production is only able to satisfy about half of its domestic demand, so there remains good market potential for U.S. almond producers and exporters. Another potential area of interest is for pork meat. Pork is an important staple in Croatia, a country that is not self sufficient in pork. Croatian pork producers are losing their competitiveness to imported pork due to high feed and fuel prices. Moreover, Croatia is a large pork importer that in 2012 imported $161 million in pork, mostly from the EU (Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Italy, Hungary and Denmark). Currently, the U.S. is only a minor supplier to the Croatian market which used to be constrained by trichina testing, but with the adoption of EU standards is no longer a problem. While Croatia does not have a domestic pet food manufacturing industry, it has seen a growth in imports. In 2012, imports of dog and cat food were valued at over $48 million. Although direct exports from the United States currently only account for a small portion of the pet food market, this sector is expected to grow along with Croatia’s GDP and standard of living. U.S. exporters are advised to keep a keen eye on Croatia’s economic growth and the niche market for premium pet foods. Croatia’s accession which is expected to provide an economic impetus for imports of higher value products should also benefit U.S. wine exporters. In 2012, Croatia imported over $ 19 million in wine. U.S. wine exporters should focus their market entry efforts on Zagreb, the nation's capital, where niches exist for medium and higher quality wines. Some other interesting sectors that are not burdened with SPS or TBT issues are as follows: Although Croatia is a net-exporter of fish and seafood products, it imports a significant quantity as well. Annually, Croatia imports over $100 million in fish and seafood. In 2012, Croatia imported fish mostly from Spain, the Falkland Islands, Norway, Italy, Argentina, U.K. and Sweden. Promising areas for U.S. exporters include fish feed for tuna production, fish for the local fish processing industry, sardines, and mackerel. While the small blue fish is the most consumed fish on the national market, consumer demand and changing nutritional habits are prompting an interest other products such as salted fish production (i.e. anchovies), frozen fish, smoked fish (i.e. smoked sea bass, eel, and freshwater fish), fish pâté, and marinated fish. Finally, Croatia is a net importer of pulses. In 2012, Croatia’s pulse imports reached $9.9 million, mostly from China and Canada. Regardless of the global economic crisis, imports of pulses remain stable (inelastic). For the past three years, the import value of pulses ranged from $7.2-9.9 million. The most interesting sub-sector of the Croatian pulse market is dried beans. The following products are of particular interest: cranberry beans (which could be substituted by pinto beans, if the price were competitive), dark red kidney beans, and white beans.
Posted: 17 May 2013

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