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Serbian Government Imposes Export Ban on Soybean, Sugar Beet

25 September 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

SERBIA - The Serbian Government has adopted a Decree on temporary export ban of soybean, sunflower and sugar beet effective September 7 until December 31, 2012. According to the Serbian Government the export ban is part of a set of measures to ease the impact of the local drought and to protect the domestic market from price increases.

On September 6, the Ministry of Agriculture adopted a decree providing for the “Temporary limitation on quantities for export of soybeans, sunflowers and sugar beets”, setting zero export quotas (i.e. a de facto export ban). According to the Serbian Government this measure is intended to maintain market stability and protect domestic consumers from food price increases. The ban is expected to help local processors keep enough quantities of soybeans, sunflowers and sugar beets to help contain price increases.

Serbia annually plants about 165,000 HA of soybeans, 165,000 HA of sunflowers and 65,000 HA of sugar beets. Average annual production of soybeans and sunflowers is around 400,000 MT each and of sugar beet is around 3 million MT (production of refined sugar is about 430,000 MT annually). Serbia exports on average annually about 80,000 MT of soybean oil, 45,000 MT of sunflower oil and 220,000 MT of refined sugar (180,000 MT is shipped to the EU under a duty free quota). The current price for soybeans on the Novi Sad Commodity Exchange is 70 din/kg ($740/MT), for sunflowers is 55 din/kg ($580/MT) and for sugar is 85 din/kg ($885/MT).

The Serbian Statistical Office is forecasting production declines in all three crops for MY12/13 as a result of the extreme drought this summer: soybeans (35 per cent), sunflowers (25 per cent) and sugar beets (13 per cent). These forecast declines are less severe than the Serbian Chamber of Commerce previously announced: soybeans (50 per cent), sunflower (35 per cent) and sugar beets (30 per cent).

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