Saturday, 9 October 2021

Croatian Companies Seeking New Export Opportunities at Anuga Food Fair

ZAGREB, 9 Oct, 2021 - Eight Croatian companies are showcasing their products at the Anuga food fair which is taking place in the German city of Cologne from 9 to 13 October, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) announced on Saturday, describing the fair as the central gathering point for food companies from throughout the world.

Croatia is represented by food and drink producers Kraš, Dupin, Pekar, Hermes International, Uje, Arabesca, Varžak Med and Prodan Tartufi.

Dragan Kovačević, the HGK vice-president for agriculture and tourism, said that this was the first fair of global significance to be taking place in person since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are glad about our members' interest in fairs despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, as well as the fact that the exhibition space is sold out. The HGK covers half of the costs for its members and we believe that our help will make it easier for them to find opportunities to enter new export markets," Kovačević said.

This year's show has attracted nearly 5,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries. The previous fair, held in 2019, drew 165,000 professional visitors from 200 countries, which confirms its leading position in Europe, the HGK said.

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Croatian Agriculture Minister, Chinese Ambassador Discuss Pork Exports to China

ZAGREB, 14 Sept, 2021 - Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković has held an online meeting with Chinese Ambassador Xu Erwen to discuss ways of speeding up the procedure to obtain veterinary certificates and possibilities for pork exports to China, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The agricultural cooperation with China has intensified since 2006, and thanks to the China+17 initiative and the efforts by the Agriculture Ministry, the protocol on veterinary and public health requirements for dairy products intended for export from Croatia to China was signed in 2019, removing the obstacles to the sale of Croatian dairy products on the Chinese market.

Vučković mentioned Croatian requests towards the Chinese competent authority (GACC) regarding veterinary certificates for pork and pork products, fresh and frozen tuna, honey, beef and poultry, notably the export of tuna, pork and pork products from Croatia to China.

The Croatian ministry is in close communication with the GACC and Croatia is a step closer to getting a positive assessment as a country allowed to export pork and pork products to China, the statement said.

In 2020 the GACC was notified that the World Organisation for Animal Health had recognised Croatia as a country officially free of classic swine fever.

Between 2011 and 2020, with Croatia's entry into the European Union, Croatian agricultural and food exports to China increased ninefold, while at the same time imports from China decreased by more than double. In 2020 alone, the value of agricultural and food exports to China increased by 52% compared with 2019, to nearly €7 million.

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

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Croatian Bicycle Exports Increase as Global Bike Market Explodes

June the 5th, 2021 - Croatian bicycle exports have shot up as people choose a more active and outdoor-oriented lifestyle as a result of the ongoing public health crisis taking the world by storm.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the bicycle business is becoming very profitable due to the consumption that exploded with the onset of the pandemic, even causing a shortage on the global market, but European manufacturers, especially Italian ones, are facing a dilemma as to whether to risk things and invest in new capacities, and they are cautious because they estimate that such interest could last two more years.

All bicycle manufacturers across the world are facing a big problem with the supply of the necessary key parts for bike production, such as gears and gearboxes, even for the well-known Japanese manufacturer Shimano, which meets as much as two thirds of the world's needs.

So far, manufacturers have been waiting for four months for the delivery of the ordered quantities from Shimano, and now that time has been increased to one year. A solution is sought in collaboration with other manufacturers to increase production.

Demand is growing

Statistics also show a massive increase in general demand for bicycles - from the United States, where demand jumped 120 percent, and the United Kingdom, having jumped to 45 percent, and according to Eurostat data, trade in bicycles is growing across EU member states, especially in trade for electric versions.

43 percent more bikes were exported than in 2019, almost 274 thousand of them with a total value of 427 million euros, while their imports were at the same time higher by 19 percent, and more than 839 thousand, worth 721 million euros in total, were imported.

Exports of "classic" bicycles produced in the EU also grew by as much as 35 percent, a total of 1.3 million worth 471 million euros were exported, while imports, unlike the overall global trend, were about 3 percent below the level of the previous year. This is a large amount - the import of almost 5 million bicycles worth 930 million euros.

The main market for European bicycles of all types, pedal and electric, was the United Kingdom, where more than a third were sold, and Switzerland, while almost a quarter of imported "classic" came from Cambodia, and more than half of electric bicycles are imported from Taiwan.

When it comes to Croatia, last year, according to Eurostat data, we imported 86 percent more bicycles, a total of 16.4 thousand worth 1.5 million euros, and Croatian bicycle exports increased by 122 percent - 1.7 thousand bikes worth half a million euros were exported.

An unsurprising lack of incentives in Croatia

When it comes to electric bikes, both Croatian bicycle exports and imports decreased when compared to pre-pandemic 2019, but their financial value is significantly higher. It is also interesting to note that in this case, the export realisation is higher than that of the imports - 354 electric bicycles worth 272 thousand euros were exported, and 286 worth 182 thousand euros were imported.

There are several producers who have entered this niche here in Croatia - Mate Rimac, and the young innovator Mate Ljubicic from Runovic. The demand for electric bicycles in this country would probably also grow quite significantly if people were granted incentives as part of encouraging e-mobility.

Last year, and this year as well, in the recently published public invitation of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency, no non-refundable support is provided for the purchase of electric bicycles among electric vehicles.

However, regardless of the fact that the state decided to exclude bicycles in relation to other categories of vehicles, the example of the Italian city of Rome proves that there are other forms of incentives to be offered - such as up to 500 euros for the purchase of all types of bicycles.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

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.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Croatian Exporters Say National Recovery Plan Needs Transparent Project Criteria

ZAGREB, 14 April, 2021 - The National Recovery and Resilience Plan calls for extremely transparent criteria for selecting projects and contractors, as well as defining criteria which will protect the domestic economy, the Croatian Exporters Association said on Wednesday.

One of the priorities is for hundreds of thousands of young expats to return to Croatia, the association underscored.

Croatian Exporters said that they welcomed the 2021-2026 draft national plan, aimed at strengthening economic and social resilience of the Croatia economy, that is, "mitigating the social and economic impacts of the crisis and contributing to the green and digital transition", because many of the recommendations and requests they had been sending to the government in recent years had been partially taken into account.

However, they warn that there are some questions and doubts about the planned allocation of funds for the national plan's components, 54% of which should be earmarked for the economy.

"Have key performance indicators been defined, analyses conducted and effects of planned projects on long-term sustainable and harmonised growth and development of Croatia quantified? (...) Planned investments covered by the National Plan will certainly increased Croatia's GDP in the next six to eight years, but we doubt whether it will increase the long-term GDP growth rate," Croatian Exporters said in the review they sent to the government.

They are also under the impression that the domestic production and export processing industry has been neglected in the national plan.

"Digitalisation and the green economy... won't be sufficient drivers for a big step forward in the development and progress of the domestic industry. At the same time... projects aimed at infrastructure, energy, construction and tourism won't contribute to a significant improvement in the poor structure of the Croatian economy," the exporters' association said.

They also consider that it is necessary to define criteria that will protect the domestic economy.

For more about politics 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.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Utility Vehicles Made in Rasco Kalinovac Factory Exported to Australia

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak/Privredni writes on the 3rd of August, 2020, the Rasco factory in Kalinovac has produced the 300th Muvo vehicle, a multifunctional utility carrier for the maintenance of urban areas, fully designed and manufactured in Croatia.

Muvo vehicles are currently cleaning and maintaining more than thirty major Croatian cities, including gorgeous coastal destinations. The vehicle is also present in almost all of Europe, as well as in Asia and even as far away as Australia.

The idea of ​​adopting the production of a small universal utility vehicle was born back in 2008, and is the result of the thoughts of two owners and the then members of the board, Frane Franičević and Darko Paviša, on how to ensure the growth of Rasco's revenue in the future.

Although the Muvo vehicle development project started during the global economic crisis, Rasco's director Darko Paviša says that at that time, both he and Frane Franičević accepted the crisis as a challenge and during its hold on the world, began with the construction and production of new types of machines. They also worked on expanding the company's production programme, so that after the end of the crisis, they could take even better positions in the market.

"We weren't satisfied with the representation of our products from utility companies. We've started to produce machines in smaller dimensions, so that they can be installed on small tractors or small utility vehicles that most often maintain the centres of cities and municipalities. We quickly realised that we needed a complete package to enter this market: both a propulsion vehicle and maintenance connections. Back in 2008, small universal utility vehicles were produced by only a few manufacturers in Europe, and in relatively small batches. We recognised this opportunity and started developing the concept, which is today's Muvo vehicle,'' Paviša pointed out.

The conceptual concept of the vehicle and the project task were created by Frane Franičević, and the project lasted for four years. The first Muvo was presented back in 2012 at the IFAT trade fair in Munich, Germany, and aroused a lot of interest among customers and visitors. Serial production started in 2013, and most of the first copies were sold here in Croatia, in order to obtain quality information on the behaviour of the machine in real working conditions and to provide efficient and fast service support.

"Muvo has combined excellent work performance, multifunctionality and quality. Our customers get a compact cleaner, a winter service vehicle, a mowing vehicle, a plant and park watering machine, a lifting platform and much more in one vehicle by changing the attachments. Muvo is constantly undergoing improvements, in line with user comments and market needs. Today, almost eight years after the start of production, we stand by the side of global manufacturers,'' explained Ivica Ivanic, technical director at Rasco.

With the help of a strategic partnership with German articulated utility vehicle manufacturer Max Holder, the company’s management began exporting Muvo vehicles back in 2015. The Muvo project was spun off into a separate company, Rasco Holder, which is 50 percent owned by Rasco and 50 percent owned by Germany's Max Holder. This step forward ensured Muvo's entry into the world market and played a major role in the impressive number of 300 vehicles sold.

"We achieved the goal we wanted: we entered the segment of communal maintenance in cities and smaller, local self-government units and very quickly established that there is still room for the expansion of this the offer to this group of clients. That's why soon after the successful placement of our Muvo vehicles, we started working on a new platform for the utility market: the compact Lynx cleaner,'' concluded Rasko's Darko Paviša.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

There's a Place for Croatian Food in Germany, Honey Already Popular

Is there a place for Croatian food on the competitive market of nearby Germany? It seems that yes, there is, and rich Croatian honey has already won the hearts of many German shoppers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 1st of June, 2020, GoGreen, the brand of Croatia's largest agricultural cluster and the first domestic smart market until three years ago, was taken over and reactivated in mid-March by the Zagreb-based company Anytime Logistika. In the new business, GoGreen is only part of the business. The main focus is on logistics, wholesale and exports.

Anytime Logistika has just done its first job for Germany's largest retail chain, Edeka, which is 50 percent larger in Germany than Lidl and Kaufland combined and holds more than a fifth of the German market. Among other things, it placed Croatian food such as honey there. Alan Slapar, who started the GoGreen brand, and who is now working at Anytime Logistika on the development and digitalisation of domestic producers, says that Andrea Rukavina runs the business here in Croatia and Tomislav Hunic runs it over in Germany.

"The deal with Edeka was agreed upon by Tomislav Hunic, who lives and works in Germany, and who noted that all those there in the field, already present on the markets, find it easier to communicate with local procurement managers than even we from Croatia can,'' said Slapar. He added that he is already working on other customers because the market for Croatian food and agricultural products in Germany really does exist.

Here in Croatia, the company is working to strengthen its storage capacity. Anytime Logistika currently has a warehouse in Sesvetski Kraljevec of 140 square metres in a cooling mode from 2 ° C to 6 ° C. However, they are also building a new one which will span a significantly larger 750 square metres and in which there will be a deep-freeze cooling regime of -18 ° C and a temperature of 12 ° C.

"The warehouse will be equipped for the quick freezing and packaging of fresh and seasonal fruits, and there will also be a special system for washed and sliced ​​vegetables, such as already peeled and sliced ​​potatoes, zucchini spaghetti, salads and such things,'' explained Slapar.

They are also arranging warehouse and sales points in Zagreb and the surrounding area, but the emphasis is being placed primarily on wholesale. He stated that that is why they offered support to online stores, launched the HoReCa-Point sales channel for catering and decided on a precedent in Croatia. On the Anytime Logistika website, it will offer the possibility to order all products available in stock in real time.

"One of the basic problems in the distribution of agricultural products in Croatia is that producers don't even have a catalog of their products so that wholesale or retail customers can even come to find out what they actually have to offer. And if the customers don't know, then they won't even bother ordering,'' noted Slapar.

He stated that they are therefore working intensively on digitalisation with the Croatian producers they work with. Each manufacturer that enters their system also enters a catalog which they then offer on various markets depending on the product and their respective capacities. He pointed out that he wasn't surprised that doing business that way has intensified over the past two months and that family farms have taken an interest in GoGreen yet again.

"I don't attribute the interest so much to GoGreen as much as I do to the new chaos and hysteria, because Croatia hasn't invested in more creative ways of distribution for years, and with the arrival of the new coronavirus and isolation measures, it proved to be a big issue for all companies," explained Slapar.

Anytime Logistika currently has, he said, even better collaboration with larger manufacturers than it has with smaller ones. He explained that this is the result of a market shock.

"Because of these sudden market declines, now 'everything is possible'', ''everyone is good'' and there is potential in everything," Slapar concluded.

For more on Croatian food, produce and other products, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Croatian Fish More and More Popular Abroad, Export Figures Speak Volumes

Everyone knows that fish and seafood in general makes up a huge part of the Croatian, particularly Dalmatian and Istrian diets. Fresh fish caught from the sparkling Adriatic sea paired with a domestic wine from grapes grown and harvested from local vineyards is nothing abnormal, but it seems that Croatian fish is becoming a big hit abroad as well as at home.

As Novac writes on the 6th of January, 2020, it would seem that Croatian fish is an increasingly popular delicacy abroad, far beyond not only Croatian and EU borders, as has been evidenced by impressive export figures.

More specifically, in the first eight months of 2019, the Republic of Croatia exported fresh or chilled bluefin tuna worth a massive 31.2 million euros (a whole 2,800 tonnes of it) outside of Croatia's borders, which is almost in the ranking of total exports in the year 2018 as a whole, reaching 33.9 million euros (or 3,000 tonnes in total).

The total exports of Croatian fish, crustaceans and molluscs back in 2018 amounted to an impressive 170.4 million euros (47,000 tonnes), of which fresh or chilled fish accounted for 108.2 million euros (21,000 tonnes in total).

In addition to tuna, which is a favourite in Japan, the largest exports to the European Union markets are fresh or chilled sea bass (26.4 million euros or 4.300 tonnes), sea bream (23.6 million euros or 3.800 tonnes) sardines (3.6 million euros or 4,500 tonnes) and anchovies (3.5 million euros or 2,200 tonnes).

This encouraging export data clearly shows that the international market recognides the very high quality of Croatian fish that comes from sustainable farming. This quality is promoted by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) through the project "The fish of Croatia - eat your worth", which aims to encourage citizens to consume fish as often as possible and thus contribute positively to not only this trend but to the development of the Croatian economy as a whole.

By the end of August 2019, Croatia had exported a massive 14,100 tonnes of fresh Croatian fish worth 82.6 million euros. The majority of Croatian aquaculture production is exported to the European Union (Italy, Slovenia, Spain) and as far away as Japan.

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