Friday, 7 May 2021

Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS): Croatian export rises 9.5%, import 2.1% in 2021 Q1

ZAGREB, 7 May, 2021 - Croatia exported the commodities worth 30 billion kuna in the first three months of 2021, which was 9.5% more in comparison to the corresponding period in 2020, whereas the imports rose 2.1% to HRK 46.5 billion, the national statistical office (DZS) reported on Friday.

As a result, Croatia's foreign trade deficit in Q1 2021 narrowed by nine percent to HRK 16.45 billion compared to the 2020 Q1.

The coverage of the import by the export was 64.6%.

In the first three months of 2021, HRK 20.7 billion worth of goods was exported to the EU, 8.9% more on the year, and HRK 9.3 billion to non-EU countries (+10.9%).

The import of goods from the EU totalled HRK 36.7 billion, which was the same level as in the corresponding period of 2020, while import from other countries rose 11.4% to HRK 9.7 billion.

Expressed in euros, Croatia's goods export totalled €3.97 billion, up 7.9%, while import increased 0.6% to €6.1 billion.

The foreign trade deficit was €2,2 billion.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Croatia Agriculture and Food Exports Jump in 2020, Imports Fall

December 19, 2020 – A surprising success story in a difficult year as Croatia agriculture and food exports jump in 2020, while imports of the same have fallen

Good news from any place is welcome in this most difficult of years. According to provisional data from the country's Central Bureau of Statistics, the total value of Croatia agriculture and food exports in the period from January to September 2020 amounted to 1.7 billion Euros, an increase of 5 percent from the same period in 2019. Within the same period, the value of agricultural and food imports into Croatia was 2.5 billion Euros, a decline of 7.3 percent from last year.

The success of Croatia agriculture and food exports in the period means that the country's trade deficit has decreased by huge 26.6 percent compared to the same period last year. With this year's findings taken into account, the trade deficit now stands at 758.8 million Euros.

fieldsromi2.jpg© Romulić & Stojčić

Croatia agriculture and food exports covered 69 percent of total imports this year, an increase of 8.11 percent. A total of 15.86 percent of all exports from the country come from the Croatia agriculture and food exports sector.

The most important item of production within the sector is corn, which accounts for 5.4 percent of all Croatia agriculture and food exports.

From January to September 2020, the most significant products in exports were: cereals (205.4 million Euros – a growth of a huge 62.6 million Euros); various food products (168.1 million Euros – including manufactured/processed foods like sauces, soups, ice cream, sugar products); fish and other seafood (a huge 147.4 million Euros – showing a growth of 14.5 million Euros); cereals, flour, starch or milk products; confectionery products, including chocolate (135.9 million Euros – a growth of 13.8 million Euros), and tobacco-related products (122.6 million Euros). TCN recently took a closer look at the successful and well-established Croatian chocolate industry

Other successes within 2020 Croatia agriculture and food exports were live animals, with an increase of 10.1 million Euros, and the residue and waste of the food industry, which is exported to go into prepared animal foods. The latter saw an increase of 8.6 million Euros.


So far this year, Italy was one of the most important destinations for Croatia agriculture and food exports. Their total consumption of Croatia agriculture and food exports was 300.8 million Euros, which amounts to 17.76 percent of Croatia's exports in the sector. Croatia agriculture and food exports to Italy increased by 21.9 percent this year, while imports from Italy to Croatia in the same period was 263 million Euros, a decrease of 16.6 percent on 2019. This creates a surplus of 37.6 million Euros.

The most important Croatia agriculture and food exports to Italy are maize, wheat and soybeans, tobacco-related products, sea bass (brancin) and bream (orada).

For the last five years, Croatia agriculture and food exports top consumer has been Germany. For the past seven years, Germany has also been the country from which Croatia has imported the most.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Exports Seen as Way Out of Crisis for Croatia - Conference

ZAGREB, July 21, 2020 - Croatia's economic recovery will depend on the moves by the new government, and the way out of the crisis should also be sought in increasing exports, participants in the Zagreb Invest&Export 2020 conference concluded on Tuesday. 

"A country's success does not depend on someone else's assistance but on the efficiency of its government," economist Ljubo Jurcic said at the conference.

He said that boosting exports should be "a lodestar" for every small country, adding that the share of exports in Croatia's GDP is lower than in the case of its peers, and in this context, he called for raising the portion of exports in GDP from the current under-30% level to above 60%.

Jurcic said that in the current globalisation, the focus should be placed on exporting specific products that are part of more complex products such as cars, machinery, and airplanes.

"We have the infrastructure, the know-how and human resources necessary for that," he said.

A former Croatian member of the European Parliament, Marijana Petir, said that the Croatian agricultural sector had a lot of things to offer on the local and European markets, however, agricultural production was still not competitive.

Therefore, we need the funds from the EU to invest in innovations and technology which will enable us to make more products with added value and everything else that consumers demand, and those are organic, fresh and high-quality products, she added.

In this context, she said that some of the €22 billion that will be made available to Croatia from the post-pandemic recovery fund would be disbursed for rural development and aid to farmers.

Mirko Habijanec of the Croatian Employers' Association spoke about the importance of the construction sector for job creation and investment cycles.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Croatia's Non-Tourism Industries Also Feel Coronavirus Pain

June 29, 2020 — Tourism accounts for 20 percent of Croatia's economy, but nearly all of the government and public's attention. What about the other industries in the remaining 80 percent?

Croatia's tourism industry will find it difficult to generate even 30 percent of last year's revenues. So the country must seek other sources of revenue alongside what citizens working in the EU send back home. Queue the commodities exporters, whose income is from foreign markets.

The nation's exporters saw revenues fall in the first four months fell by five percent, to HRK 34.4 billion. They're the sort of numbers Croatia's tourism industry will struggle to reach despite the government's and the media's attention.

During this time, Croatia's wood, textile and auto parts companies fell off the radar. Apart from being exporters, these are also companies that employ hard-to-employ people and are located in rural areas, so there is no alternative for additional employment.

The Croatian Association of Employers noted that the wood industry realizes over 70 percent of its turnover on the foreign market, with Italy its main partner. Currently, few consumers are considering buying furniture or adapting their residential or business space. They add that even the few goods that could be sold are stuck due to the difficult organization of transport. The association is asking the Government for help in this branch, in which most companies are currently working and in which there are no major layoffs.

The Croatian Chamber of Commerce said the situation in the main markets such as Italy, Germany, Austria, France and China shows visible signs of recovery by receiving orders from existing customers and accelerating shipments, while the furniture market shows signs of recovery as a result.

"However, the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, given that it is a durable good whose purchase is postponed by buyers in times of crisis," the Chamber of Commerce said. "Pellet producers are witnessing the normalization of demand, after a six-month disturbance in the main market of Italy, where there was a saturation of cheap products originating from Eastern Europe."

The chamber added that there are still problems with the placement of fresh beech wood on the Egyptian market, where 60 percent of those products usually ship. The market is simply oversaturated.

There is great uncertainty, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, among manufacturers of parts for the automotive industry.

Some companies at the beginning of the crisis closed their plants and sent workers on vacation. Delays in the procurement of raw materials and semi-finished products also created difficulties in business.

The situation in the textile industry in Croatia is also wobbly. The first to be hit by the corona crisis were clothing manufacturers, because, they note from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, they had difficulties in delivering raw materials.

"Considering that this is a predominantly export branch, export activities have been disabled for a long time," the Chamber said. "All stores were closed and this also affected a large loss of traffic, especially if they did not have online sales before. All of this has resulted in full warehouses and a shortage or reduction of new orders. Given the difficult situation and the inability of some companies within the textile industry to adapt to the new situation in the short term, this will in the future contribute to significant layoffs and the inability to pay salaries regularly." The production of protective clothing, which is in great demand in both the domestic and foreign markets, is the only branch that can compensate for significant losses.

President of Croatian Exporters Darinko Bago said that the Government's measures at the beginning of the crisis significantly helped all companies, including those that export. But elections and tourism have sucked all the attention and energy away from helping exporters at a crucial time, he said.

"We should have sat down and talked about how to proceed," he said. "Work out a few of the most likely variants and measures for them. Instead, elections began to dominate."

The shift away created an impression of government success, which Bago denies.

"There's this impression that there is nothing the state cannot do and there is no reason to worry," he said. "Of course not. A good part of the exporters were lucky that their partners from, for example, Germany did not cancel their orders. But what will happen from August, will customers need more stock? Supply and sales channels are still threatened."

He points out that Croatia missed an opportunity to discuss what products we can offer in the new circumstances, because production in Europe is once again becoming an advantage. While Croatia comes up with this topic, he is afraid, its companies will go out of business.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Croatian Company ''Include'' Continues with Exports and New Markets

At the beginning of 2019, the Croatian company Include signed a two-year distribution agreement with one of the largest global providers of telecommunications services - Deutsche Telekom.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of April, 2019, 42 global markets, six continents, 260 cities across the world, more than 1000 smart benches installed, cooperation with major global corporations, the European Parliament, Deloitte, Forbes... all in just four years - this is just part of the successful results the Croatian company Include from Solin has achieved since May 2015, when the first smart bench was introduced, until the beginning of 2019.

In the first quarter, Solin's Include didn't manage to acheive any real or significant results, as most markets were still covered by snow, and the first installations usually only begin in spring, but in 2019, Include achieved significant export performance. The amount of ordered benches, when compared to the first quarter of 2018, just one year ago, increased by an impressive 109 percent to  a staggering 2.3 million kuna, while total revenues increased by 115 percent.

At the beginning of this year, Include signed a two-year distribution agreement with one of the largest global providers of telecommunications services, Deutsche Telekom. The contract was signed for fifty global markets, and Include became one of the few Croatian companies with this type of somewhat prestigious contract.

In January this year, 44 Steora smart benches worth over 1.1 million kuna were sold and a new market opened its doors, Poland. The largest share of the bench sales relate to exports, and the Steora smart bench has found its way across Europe, having been delivered to Italy, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

In February this year, Include continued its export activities - with new orders from neighbouring Montenegro, a new market opened (Chile, with two Steora Standard benches) and the month ended with deliveries of 27 smart bench to Greece, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Italy, and Hungary.

March 2019, as the ''test polygon'' for spring, resulted in orders of a new product from Include's sales portfolio - the Monna cyclo tables for Dublin. The new product was presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress in mid-November 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. In addition, two new distribution agreements were signed (Slovenia - 50 benches, France - 72 benches), five Steora benches for Chile and Bermuda were ordered, as were 38 benches for other European countries - the United Kingdom, France, and Montenegro.

It's certainly important to highlight the continuation of Include's global digital outdoor advertising project via the Steora Urban+ smart benches. After they started the project with the installation of fifteen Steora Urban+ benches in Bratislava (at the best locations in the city), at the end of 2018, the project increased its pace in March this year with the another fifteen new Steora Urban+ smart benches, this time in Dublin, Ireland.

Currently, two major cities in the European Union are using Include's external digital advertising system through the Steora smart bench, it is an advanced DOOH system developed within the company itself. The system works using Facebook-like technology, enabling you to choose multiple advertising screens at the same time, set marketing campaign goals, and track advertising results in real-time.

Croatia's Include expects significant business results in the upcoming two quarters, and in addition to that, the realisation of a new investment round is being prepared, followed by the expansion of production capacities and the recruitment of new employees.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.