Source: eKapija | Saturday, 09.07.2016.| 19:59
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Record grain yield filling barges on the Danube – Cargo boats ready for the export

The Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Snezana Bogosavljevic – Boskovic has stated that this year’s yield of wheat in Serbia, whose harvest is nearing completion, will be remarkable and amount to three million tons, which is 20% more than last year.

The Minister has added that she expects the yield of corn, which has been sown across 1.2 million hectares, to be as good as that of wheat. According to her, the situation regarding sunflowers is also extremely favorable, as it has been sown across 202,000 hectares this year, which is 20% more than last year. The area under sugar beet is also larger than it was in 2015, with 49,000 hectares in good condition.

The director of the association Zita Srbije Vukosav Sakovic has also pointed out that the year 2016 is remarkable regarding all arable crops. He has remarked that the harvest of barley, whose yield is also very good, has been completed in Vojvodina and that it is nearing completion in Central Serbia. Sakovic has estimated that Serbia will have 1.5 million tons of wheat for the export this year.

As grains are mostly exported through the Danube, the bulk carriers and ports are ready, as we’ve found out.

Zoran Netkovic, director of the maritime river agency Agent Plus says for eKapija that the export of this year’s yield started in June with the transport of rapeseed, and that the peak season starts this month with the export of wheat.

- There’s a noticeable increase in activity on the Danube regarding the export of grains, so there’s a significant lack of cargo vessels. The largest part of the sailing capacity has already been booked through seasonal contracts. Less favorable hydrometeorological conditions are expected in the summer months, which can lead to difficulty in sailing due to a lowered water level and reduced use of the capacity of vessels, which can in turn lead to a significant lack of vessels.

As Netkovic says, what’s encouraging is that there’s a noticeable increase in activity on the market. The vessels have been put to use in both the import and the export, and the freight rates are growing.

- This gives a chance to shipping enterprises on the Danube to partially recover the great losses they suffered in the last season.

In addition to the export of grains, which is directed to continental neighboring countries and countries of Central and Western Europe, the main export transit hub for Serbian grains is the Port of Constanta on the Black Sea, adds Netkovic, where the grains are collected into silos and distributed to Israel, Egypt, Libya, Iran, but also to Mediterranean countries and countries of the Middle East.

Backa Palanka Port
Things are on the move in Backa Palanka Port too. Victoria Group has offered its capacities at the AgroPort logistics center, within which the port operates, to agricultural companies. As they say at the company for eKapija, at the AgroPort logistics center, the clients have at their disposal the services of storage, packing, quality control and port services for agricultural goods and fertilizers.

The AgroPort logistics center has a storage capacity of 55,000 tons for mercantile goods. The clients also have at their disposal the services of cleaning, drying and fumigating seeds, sorting seeds by quality and maintaining their temperature 24/7. The Backa Palanka Silo can take 1,500 tons of seeds a day, whereas the port’s warehouse takes 3,000 and ships 2,000 tons a day. Backa Palanka Port allows for the loading and unloading of two barges simultaneously with the automatic loading of the warehouse by transport belt conveyors.

- At the AgroPort center, when it comes to the service of packing fertilizers, during the spring season, over 40,000 tons of various mineral fertilizers were packed. Grains were being transported by barges – for example, 10,000 tons of barley were transported through the Danube to Romania. Over 20,000 tons of corn were stored at the port’s warehouse and shipped by barges to the Port of Constanta in Romania, and to Austria. Large amounts of grits are also being stored and shipped to end users – They say in Victoria and add that Romania, Russia, France, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina are the countries from which most of the goods come and are shipped to.

Beocin Silo
In April this year, a new silo and a port for storing grains and oleaceous plants (corn, wheat, soy, barley, rapeseed, sunflower) was opened in Beocin. The stored goods will be exported through the port, which was built on the canal near the silo, down the Danube to the Port of Constanta.

The silo-port is run by Agrogrnja from Backi Petrovac, and the company’s director, Vladislav Nedic, says for eKapija that they are very satisfied with the interest in their storage and reloading capacities.

- We are storing rapeseed and wheat now. Due to the current low FOB price of wheat, it is still not being exported, and when the conditions are right, it will go down the Danube for sure. We have organized the test loading in our port, so we are ready to provide complete reloading and storage services for grains and oleaceous plants – Nedic said.

Agrogrnje’s silos have the capacity of 24,000 tons and the complete equipment for the reception, storing, reloading and drying grains.

The silo-port has been built on a 2 ha parcel which has been bought by Agrogrnja at the business park of the company Lafarge BFS, where they are planning to build an additional 70,000 m2 of storage space, after which this will become the largest silo-port on the Rhine-Main-Danube route.

Marija Kambic

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