Wheat: Croatia, a Close Partner of Italy
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The most important growing areas for bread Wheat are located in the East part of Croatia (Slavonia and Baranja County). Apart from this region where the highest yield could be achieved, Wheat is also cultivated in the central south part of Croatia, including more poor soils, which decreases average yields.
Wheat has been sown on 160,000 hectares this year, and a harvest of 6.1 tons per hectare is expected. Croatia forecasted 1 million tons of Wheat harvest this season. In addition to Wheat, according to early estimates, Barley production increased. Barley was sown on 61,000 hectares, and with the expected output of 5.1 tons per hectare, the total Barley production is estimated at 311,000 tons or 1.6 percent more than last year.
Wheat and spelt cultivation area were 147,500 ha in December of 2021, according to the EUROSTAT. This area reached a record high of 204,510 ha in December 2013 and a record low of 118,380 ha in December 2017.
At the same time, it is estimated that rapeseed production this year decreased by 8.2 percent, to 67,000 tons, and oats by 1.7 percent, to 58,000 tons. There are 24,000 hectares under oilseed rape, and the estimated yield is 2.8 tons per hectare. The country projected to harvest 120,000 tons of sunflower this year, down 3.2% in 2021. Oats were sown on 17,000 hectares, and the expected production is 3.4 tons per hectare. Production of Soybean fell 24% to 174,000 tons this year.
Croatia is forecast to produce an estimated 1.5 million tons of Corn this year, down from 2.2 million tons harvested in 2021 (from 258,000 ha), the statistical office said in early September. For MY 2020/21, exports were estimated at a high of 900,000 tons, and imports are expected to be negligible. Exports followed Corn availability on the domestic market and the current low demand for feed, which has been the trend over the last few years due to the decreasing number of bovine animals.
In Croatia, the Wheat yield was increased from the past till now. The increase in yield was, in turn, the consequence of the decrease in plant height and higher grain number per square meter of modern cultivars, as in the other countries across Europe.
Depending on the quality, Croatian Wheat grain has 10-17% protein content; test weight can vary from 60 to 85 kg hl-1, and 1000 kernel weight from 25 to 55 g. Higher protein content can generally indicate flours with higher water absorption, stronger and more extensible dough properties, and better baking performance. Also, the quality of the flour is examined by the rheological properties of dough (farinograph and extensograph) regularly. As regards the allelic composition of the Croatian winter Wheat varieties, three patterns were observed at the Glu-A1 locus (N, 1, 2), at Glu-B1 (7+8, 7+9) and Glu-D1 (2+12, 5+10)
Croatian Wheat Trade
Croatia’s domestic needs are around 400,000-450,000 tons, surplus for export. In 2020, Croatia exported Wheat worth $111M, making it the 30th largest Wheat exporter in the world. In the same year, Wheat was the 37th most exported product in Croatia. The leading destination of Wheat exports from Croatia is Italy ($68.6M), Bosnia and Herzegovina ($16.6M), Austria ($6.57M), Slovenia ($4.92M), and Serbia ($4.04M).
The fastest-growing export markets for Wheat in Croatia between 2019 and 2020 were Italy ($40M), Romania ($2.12M), and Bosnia and Herzegovina ($2.02M). In 2021, Croatia ranked 4th among Italy’s Wheat suppliers, exporting 254,000 tons of Wheat.
In 2020, Croatia imported Wheat worth $30.9M, becoming the 111th most significant importer of Wheat in the world. Croatia imports Wheat primarily from Hungary ($21.9M), Bosnia and Herzegovina ($6.2M), Austria ($1.45M), Slovakia ($675k), and Slovenia ($264k).
Other sources: Tportal
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