As a result of high temperatures and drought, European crops have suffered damage which will cause a decline in sugar revenue by 10 per cent compared to the previous year. However, that trend is so far successfully avoiding Croatia.
- The Croatian region of Slavonia has been experiencing high temperatures over the last few days, but the overall crop damage has not yet been recorded – said Matija Brlošić, the owner of a family farm in the village Piškorevci near the city of Đakovo.
Brlošić added that high temperatures in August have been preceded by a quite rainy July, during that period the crops have been sufficiently watered.
- We even experienced minor difficulties because of the excessive rain in July, therefore it is fair to say that farmers are having some problems with the weather, particularly considering the fact that the spring crops have entirely been removed, and that the same is expected for the autumn ones – explained Brlošić.
So far, none of the districts in Croatia have declared the state of natural disaster due to the heatwave. On the other hand, German farmers have already asked their government for an EUR 1 billion assistance due to the decline in corn production. Joachim Rukwied, the president of the German Agricultural Association, said that they have already recorded the shortage of forage, as well as the rise of farming expenses. A few of the German local governments are lobbying for the declaration of the state of emergency amid high temperatures and severe drought.
In France, sugarcane producers have been damaged the most by the heatwave and drought, which triggered the decline of sugar production by ten per cent. Given the fact that France is one of the most significant agricultural producers in the EU, the expected decline in corn production will force Europe to import the agricultural goods from the USA.
When asked if a decline in the European agricultural production could be perceived as an opportunity for Croatian farmers, Matija Brlošić stressed that domestic retailers and distributors will be determining the trend, rather than the farmers.
- I believe that the heatwave will hurt sugarcane and soy crops the most, which might subsequently trigger the rise of sugar prices. However, judging by the state that our sugarcane crops are in, such scenario is not as likely to occur. Moreover, we should also consider the fact that more often than not, sugarcane producers are self-sufficient – concluded Brlošić.
Apart from tobacco, sugar is the most important Croatian export crop.