Confirmation that more and more fish from Bosnia and Herzegovina is appearing on the tables of foreign residents is supported by data from the Bosnia and Herzegovina Indirect Taxation Authority, indicating that, for the first ten months of this year, exports of these products have exceeded 6.5 million KM more than in the same period last year.
According to the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this year has seen the export of 2.6 million kilograms of fish, valued at over 22 million marks, with the majority going to Serbia and Croatia.
In the same period last year, Bosnia and Herzegovina exported over two million kilograms of fish, amounting to just over 15.7 million marks.
While there is an increase in export this year, there has been a decline in imports. For the first ten months of this year, 6.1 million kilograms of fish were imported, valued at over 35.1 million marks.
“For the same period last year, Bosnia and Herzegovina imported 9.7 million kilograms of fish, valued at over 50 million marks, with the majority coming from Spain,” according to data from the Indirect Taxation Authority.
The data shows that during the current year, the highest quantity of these products was imported from Spain, totaling 2,255,313 kilograms, valued at over 14.4 million marks.
Additionally, fish and other products were imported from Argentina, Croatia, Norway, China, and other countries.
Zoran Tepić, the director of the company “Tropical Fisheries – Janj Fish Farm,” told “Nezavisne novine” that it is not surprising that there has been a decline in imports. As he explains, the prices of fish and fish products have risen, leading many people to abstain from consuming fish.
“No importer finds it economically viable to import fish that will be stocked somewhere and not sold,” said Tepić.
He added that there is a noticeable increase in exports this year, and companies engaged in fish production can easily place their products in foreign markets.
“This year, we experienced organic growth in production, leading to an increase in exports to foreign markets,” said Tepić, mentioning that they primarily export to Serbia, Romania, Croatia, and Slovenia.
Igor Gavran, an economic analyst, explained that the reduction in imports can be easily understood due to the relatively high price of fish compared to other types of food, coupled with the crisis caused by inflation, significantly affecting the standard of living.
“On the other hand, the increase in exports might be partially explained in a similar manner, as I assume the exported fish falls into relatively lower price categories and is more accessible to customers abroad, who are also facing inflation compared to alternatives,” said Gavran.
He added that the other part of the explanation is that, generally on foreign markets, especially in developed countries, awareness of the importance of healthy eating and consuming more fish is more developed, influencing higher demand.
“What we cannot determine from this data is how many domestic customers have replaced imported fish with domestic ones and how many have reduced or completely stopped consuming fish. If at least a portion has shifted to domestic fish, it would be a significant boost for domestic producers, making it easier for them to compete in exports due to increased production volume and lower costs per unit,” explained Gavran, as reported by Nezavisne.