As of this Thursday 10 March, Serbia’s wheat, flour, maize and oil will no longer be exported to other European countries.
According to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić , the aim of this decision is to protect the internal market.
The price of wheat has risen sharply, as have the demands for imported wheat from Serbia.
“In one day we had a request for a quarter of our total reserves,” explains Vučić.
“The demand for cereals in the Balkan region is huge, prices have skyrocketed, everyone has to provide bread to their population. That’s why we made this decision.”
Serbia – considered by many to be the third “granary of Europe” after Ukraine and Georgia – exports grain mainly to the Balkan countries.
Countries such as Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina are highly dependent on grain imports from Serbia and Hungary, and both countries have announced restrictions on their sector exports.
Economists warn: the decision to ban exports was expected, it may be a positive choice in the short term, but not in the long term.
Aleksandar Vlahovic , president of the Association of Economists of Serbia, comments:
“This choice is not unusual, many countries have already reacted in a similar way. When such international disturbances occur, the stock exchanges are closed, and central banks react by imposing a moratorium on some banks that are in danger. short term, but – I repeat – they give results only in the short term “.
A leading economic journalist, Milan Chulibrk , says, conversely, that such a decision makes absolutely no sense, because Serbia produces nearly two million tons of wheat, much more than its own population needs.
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