Serbian Corn Consumption Falls Due to Decreasing Livestocks
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With a Corn production of 7 million tons, Serbia will have sufficient Corn for domestic use at about 4.7 million tons and about 2.5 million tons for exports in MY2022/23. Corn is a crop that producers can easily store on their farms. Farmers harvest the crop in October and November, and the crop is stored on farms to dry naturally or taken to drying facilities. Farmers hold their Corn until the spring.
They usually sell their crop during the “second harvest” in March before the start of the new planting season. Dried Corn usually has between 14 and 17 percent moisture and is generally sold in small lots. Small farmers consider Corn a good investment considering the planting, harvesting, and storage costs. For MY2021/22, Corn was planted on nearly 1 million ha.
Serbia’s MY2021/22 Corn consumption was estimated at approximately 4.7 million tons, with 4.3 million tons used for animal feed and 400,000 tons for food, seed, and industrial. Corn consumption for feed has been in decline for decades due to decreased livestock numbers in most of the transition countries. In 1990, there was 2.16 million head of cattle. In 2021, there were less than 800,000 head of cattle and declining. Food, seed, and industrial consumption are expected to be higher in MY2022/23 (an increase from 300,000 tons to 400,000 tons).
Corn starch producers in Serbia have a higher demand and are increasing production in MY2022/23. Corn ending stocks were estimated at a high level of almost 1,15 million tons in MY2021/22. This is primarily due to the record production of Corn in MY2020/21 and the export ban in 2022. Corn ending stocks in MY2022/23 are expected to keep a similar trend in MY2022/23 (954,000 tons).
It was estimated that Serbia could export approximately 2 million tons of Corn in MY2021/22 (October 2021 – September 2022). In 2020, Serbia exported Corn worth $915M in Corn, making it the 8th largest exporter of Corn in the world. The main destination of Corn exports from Serbia is Romania ($450M), South Korea ($131M), Italy ($89.8M), and Spain ($52.3M). As per AgFlow data, Serbia shipped 100,000 tons of Corn to Romania in Jan-Oct 2022.
Serbia’s Corn Price and Seeds
MY2021/22 Corn prices on the Novi Sad Commodity Exchange were 26 dinars/kg ($260/MT), mainly attributed to the high worldwide demand for Corn, particularly in the Black Sea region. Corn prices remained stable until February 2022, when they increased to 27 dinars/kg ($270/MT). The Russia-Ukraine crisis pushed the price of Corn on the Novi Sad Commodity Exchange to increase to 35 dinars/kg ($350/HA).
The export ban increased the domestic supply forcing the Corn price to drop to 32 dinars/kg ($320/HA) at the end of March. Most Corn exports traverse the Danube River to the Port of Constanza, Romania. The balance is exported by trucks to EU countries (Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Greece) and neighboring countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro).
Serbia’s commercial request for certified Corn seed is estimated between 20,000 and 25,000 tons annually, depending on seed varieties and area planted. The Institute for Field and Vegetable Crops of Novi Sad (NS Hybrids) and the Maize Research Institute of Zemun Polje (ZP Hybrids) are prominent players in Serbia’s Corn seed production. They are both semi-state-owned institutes and currently control 19 and 24% of the Corn seed market. This represents a considerable decline in market share due to foreign Corn seed producers entering the market several years ago.
DuPont, Pioneer, and two domestic institutes account for 71 percent of the Corn seed market. The remaining 29 percent is shared by approximately 15 foreign companies (KWS, Limagrain, Syngenta, Monsanto, Dekalb, Agrimax, Maisdour, etc.).
Other sources: http://www.usda.gov/
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