Serbian Flour 'Defies' Albanian Companies
Albanian Daily News
Published October 15, 2017
The Serbian flour’s import from Kosovo is negatively influencing the activity of Albanian companies operating in the flour production sector. These companies registered a two-digit decrease of the annual turnover in 2016 as a result of this unfair competition. This drastic decrease forced the industrialists to sack over 30% of their employees while considering the re-direction of their funds in other sectors.
Customs data for 2016 confirms a decrease in wheat imports (used as raw material by the domestic processing industry) and increase of ready-to-eat flour imports, as the price per kilogram of flour entering Albania from Serbia decreased significantly and is significantly lower than that of other countries such as Greece or Italy.
Albanian processing companies’ administrators declare that the situation has worsened further in 2017. The Flour Processing Industry Association reported that at least 50 processing lines have shut down the activity over the past two years while the situation is getting worse for big operators.
Employment in the sector has been significantly reduced, as the whole chain associated with this industry has been experiencing difficulty in repaying loans.
“If the Albanian government does not intervene until the end of the year ending this dishonest competition the situation will keep getting worst and the bankruptcy will include large factories,” declared the Flour Processing Industry Association chairman, Adi Haxhiymeri.