CEOL - Serbian Wheat To Meet Domestic Needs

BELGRADE, Dec 7, 1999 -- (Reuters) Serbia will have enough wheat until next year's harvest but has to be careful with exports, the director of the Yugoslav Grains Fund said on Monday.

"This year's wheat crop of 2.1 million tons together with last year's reserves should be enough for overall needs of Serbia without Kosovo," Vukosav Sakovic told Beta news agency.

Sakovic said 1.9 million tons were enough for the food industry, seed and fodder.

"The quantity of wheat will most certainly be down to zero by the next harvest so we have to be careful about exports so as not to have to import at higher prices," he said.

The country's annual needs are estimated at 2.3 million tons.

In a report published at the end of September, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce made the same assessment, saying "care should be taken when determining quantities for export" although there would be sufficient wheat for domestic use.

Sakovic said some of the wheat or flour from this year's harvest was sold to Macedonia and the Bosnian Serb republic, while certain quantities were exported by the Commodity Reserve Agency to finance the purchase of fertilizers for autumn sowing.

The 1999 wheat crop was 2.1 million tons.

This autumn, 810,000 hectares were to be sown to wheat.

In 1998, Yugoslavia harvested 2.9 million tons of wheat from an area of 798,000 hectares.

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