The Serbian government won’t extend a three-month ban on wheat and flour exports that expires today, an Agriculture Ministry official said today.
“The ban expires today as it was only a temporary measure,” Goran Djakovic, an adviser to the agriculture minister, said in an interview. No other new restrictions are planned, he said.
The government introduced the ban on March 17, after three- month exports exceeded plans and threatened to turn Serbia into a wheat importer. The measure was also aimed at imposing controls over food prices, largely blamed for Serbia’s double- digit inflation. Annual price growth slowed to 13.4 percent in May from 14.7 percent in April.
The share of wheat and other grains was around 5 percent of total exports in 2009 and 2010. Agriculture generates a quarter of Serbia’s exports.
The ban expired weeks before Serbian farmers harvest new wheat. The central bank hopes for a better agricultural season to ease pressure on food prices.
Wheat prices rose 6.9 percent this week so far to trade at 27.22 dinars per kilogram today, or the equivalent of 269.5 euros per ton at the Novi Sad Commodity Exchange.
“Global, regional and even developments at the Novi Sad Stock Exchange, definitely prove that we are in a year of expensive food,” the bourse based in the capital of Serbia’s bread-basket Vojvodina, said in weekly market comments posted on its website.
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