Serbia's 2012 agriculture output value down 20% - chamber of commerce.

By bne IntelliNews December 5, 2012
The value of Serbia's agricultural output will drop 20% to USD 3.9bn in 2012 but the country will still manage to keep its agriculture exports at last year's level of USD 2.7bn, the head of the Serbian chamber of commerce, Milos Bugarin, was quoted as saying by daily Blic on Dec 4. Thus, Serbia's foreign trade surplus in the sector will be USD 1.3bn, Bugarin said at an event organized by the association of agriculture journalists Agropes. He added that the sectors of agriculture and food industry accounted for over 40% of Serbia's GDP. According to the latest government forecast, Serbia's GDP will contract by 2% in 2012 mainly due to the drop in its agricultural output because of the extensive drought and because of the crisis in the eurozone. This year's maize production, which is Serbia's most important export item, dropped 45% on the year and was 39.8% lower compared to the ten-year average (2002-2011), the statistics office has said. Persistent drought during the year also contributed to the rising inflation since the second quarter of 2012 since food has the largest weight in the consumer basket. CPI inflation accelerated to 12.9% y/y at end-Oct from 10.3% in September.

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