The move, which is to allow Serbia’s meat producers to export some 7,000t of beef to the Turkish market next year, was announced following Nedimović’s meeting with Turkey’s minister of agriculture and forestry Bekir Pakdemirli in the country’s capital Ankara.
During the bilateral talks, the two ministers “agreed to expand [the two countries’] cooperation and trade in agricultural products, in which beef meat exports have the highest importance” for the Serbian agriculture sector, the ministry said in a statement.
Export revenues to rise
The decision will allow Serbia’s meat producers to boost their beef meat exports to the Turkish market to an estimated €35 million next year, the Serbian minister said. This would represent a major increase compared with the industry’s current export revenue of some €25m. The agriculture ministry is already planning to negotiate a further expansion of the quota next year.
“New negotiations on a further increase of quotas and expanding [Serbia’s cooperation with Turkey] within the agriculture sector will take place in mid-2019,” according to the statement.
It is noteworthy that, last January, the two countries signed a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the aim of increasing their food trade. Signed by Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and minister of trade, tourism, and telecommunications Rasim Ljajić and Turkish minister of economy Nihat Zeibakch, the FTA established the current quota for Serbian beef exports, among others.
Due to “the new Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, it will be possible for the first time to have the customs-free export from Serbia to the Turkish market of 5,000t of beef a year, as well as the defined quotas of raw and refined sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, and certain types of bakery products”, Ljajić said in a statement.
Drafted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service, the Turkey Livestock and Products Annual Report for 2017 stated that the country’s red meat consumption was estimated at some 14kg per capita in 2016, an increase of 2.2% compared with a year earlier. Of this, beef represented a share of 90%, as indicated by data obtained by the USDA.