Serbia is located at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In 2016, Serbia’s total agro-food imports were valued at USD 1.6 billion. U.S. agro-food exports consisted mainly of almonds, corn, sunflower seeds, vegetable planting seeds, dietetic foods, and concentrated proteins without dairy fats, alcoholic drinks, frozen fish and seafood, snacks and fruits. The long term forecast for these products is that they will continue to grow. In the medium term, Serbia is also likely to increase imports of planting seeds, fish and fishery products, and poultry meat for processing, high-value consumer products, and beverages. Possibilities also exist for the expansion of U.S. exports of high value products such as tree nuts, raisins, snacks, beverage concentrates, planting seeds and seedlings, bovine semen and embryos, flavors, and fragrances.
There are number of advantages for U.S. agro-food exports to Serbia such as Serbian consumer-ready food imports are increasing, international retail chains have become more prevalent, urban population continue to grow and generally have higher incomes, Serbian EU accession started in January 2014, Serbia has shortages of number of agriculture products including beef, pork, beans, seeds, fish, seafood, wine, proteins, additives, live genetics, rice and certain fruits and vegetables.
|Product Category||Total Imports 2019||Potential U.S. share of total imports||Key Constraints to Market Development||Market Opportunities|
|Animal Feed||30.6||16%||Strict biotech legislation and strong competition domestic supplies and EU/CEFTA countries.||Seeking lower cost inputs|
|Coffee and Tea||36.7||20%||Strong competition from South America, Africa, India and Vietnam.||Growing market and demand for greater variety and higher quality|
|Confectionary products (including chocolates)||180.0||20%||Strong competition from domestic companies, EU and CEFTA countries at lower price point.||Market that will continue to grow with demand for new products|
|Fish & Seafoods||45.0||20%||Competition from EU sources||Demand and consumption is increasing along with changing eating habits and growth in restaurant and tourism business|
|Grains and Vegetable Seeds||90.4||30%||Strong competition from domestic Seed Institutes and EU companies.||Growing demand for higher quality of new varieties of seeds to achieve higher yields and higher quality products|
|Pet Food (Dog & Cat Food)||25.5||20%||Competition from EU/CEFTA countries and U.S. franchises in the EU. Harmonization of Veterinary Health Certificate for US exports still not completed||Serbia has very limited production of pet food. Consumption of pet food is expected to grow as Serbians are having more pets than before.|
|Pork||53||10%||Serbia is not accepting U.S. Veterinary Certificate allowing either testing or freezing. Serbia is mostly importing pork meat from EU and CEFTA countries under preferential import tariffs||Serbian is not producing enough pork meat for domestic consumption (imports over the last 6 years have increased fivefold). Growing market, especially for pork meat for further processing|
|Protein concentrates||20.0||7%||Lack of familiarity with U.S. products.||Growing demand and interest in new products|
|Snack Foods||70.0||15%||Strict biotech legislation and significant competition from EU and CEFTA||Market that will continue to grow with demand for new products|
|Tobacco Products||133.0||72%||The EU and CEFTA enjoy preferential customs tariff rates||Serbia has a shortage of tobacco products and is a net importer|
|Wine||32.0||8%||Strong competition from EU and CEFTA countries at lower price point.||Growing market for higher end wines as Serbian living standard increase|