The grains that Bulgaria and Greece produce the most are wheat and corn. While Bulgaria produced 4.4 million tons wheat in 2012, this amount increased up to 5.3 million tons in 2014. And the corn production in Greece was around 2.2 million tons in 2012 and 2013, but dropped to 2.1 million tons in 2014.
Bulgaria that is located on the shores of Black Sea is between Romania and Turkey in Southeast Europe. With its capital Sophia, the country imports more than 70 percent of its gross power consumption. It is fully dependent to Russia in crude oil and natural gas.
And the capital of Greece that is the neighbor of Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and Turkey is Athens. The most important products that are produced in the agriculture sector that employs 11.8 percent of the total labor force are fresh fruits and vegetables, olives, tobacco, sugar, rice, wheat, processed fruits and vegetables, canned peach and tomato, and olive oil.
GENERAL ECONOMIC VIEW
Bulgarian economy is an economy that is managed based on free market conditions, outward-oriented, and has moderately developed private sector, limited number of strategic public organizations. The economic performance of Bulgaria seem to increase after they became a member of the EU in 2007. The average GDP increase from 2004 to 2007 was around 6.1 percent. Again in the same period, there had been significant increases in the amount of capital and loan that entered in to the country. Since 2009, Bulgaria economy is slowly recovering from recession.
Whereas the share of the state in the Greek economy is around 40 percent. Greece that is a service-oriented economy cannot compete in sectors other than ship transportation, tourism and banking. The growth of Greek economy slowed down since 2008, and it shrunk around 3.1 percent in 2009, 5.4 percent in 2010, 8.9 percent in 2011 and 6.6 percent in 2012. The economy continued shrinking in 2013, and shrunk 3.9 percent.
POSITION AND IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE
According to the 2013 data, Bulgaria has a total agricultural land of almost 5.26 million hectare. And the used agricultural field is around 5 million hectare. The total agricultural production for the year 2013 is 4.39 billion euros. Grains and pulses took the first place in the agricultural production of 2013. And the industrial agricultural products are ranked second. If the raw material and low labor costs can be obtained, the growth of the food sector is possible in the country.
Greek economy, mostly, depends on agriculture. Almost 29 percent of its land is arable. Since most of the regions are mountain regions, wide and productive arable flatlands and rivers required for irrigation are limited. Despite of this, almost 30 percent of the population is involved in agriculture and stockbreeding. The most important agricultural products are grains, tobacco, cotton, rice, olives, grape, fruits and vegetables.
GRAIN PRODUCTION IN BULGARIA
According to data of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), wheat is the most produced grain in Bulgaria. According to the wheat production data between the seasons of 2005 and 2014, it can be seen that approximately 2 million tons to 5.5 million tons were produced. This amount of 4.4 million tons wheat in 2011 stayed the same in 2012. This figure increased slightly in 2013 and became 5.5 million tons, and decreased slightly in 2014 and became 5.3 million tons.
Another important grain product in Bulgaria is corn. From 2005 to 2013, it is seen that the corn production was at variable amounts between 300 thousand tons and 3 million tons. The corn production that was recorded as 2.2 million tons in 2011 increased and became 2.7 million tons in 2013. And the corn production amount in 2014 was 3.1 million tons. Another important product after corn is barley. The barley production in Bulgaria was around 400-850 thousand tons in 2011-2014. And the barley production amount in 2014 was 852 thousand tons.
GRAIN PRODUCTION IN GREECE
According to FAO data, the mostly produced product in Greece is corn. Corn production is recorded as 1.7-2.5 million tons between 2005 and 2014. And the production that was recorded as 2.1 million tons in 2011 was around 2.2 million tons in 2012 and 2013, and 2.1 million tons in 2014.
Another important grain product in Greece is wheat. Wheat production in 2011 was 1.7 million tons. The production that increased up to 1.8 million tons in 2012 stayed the same in 2013. The wheat production that only decreased a little in 2014 was recorded as 1.6 million tons. And the barley production in Greece was never higher than 395 thousand tons.
GRAIN TRADE IN BULGARIA
The grain trade of Bulgaria is dominated by corn and wheat. As the domestic demand for these products increase, wheat and corn import of Bulgaria also increases. According to FAO data, while the wheat import of Bulgaria was 21 thousand tons in 2012, this amount increased and rose up to 26 thousand tons in 2013. This amount of 92 thousand tons corn import in 2012 weakened to 41 thousand tons in 2013. The import amounts of Bulgaria in rice was 17 thousand tons and 27 thousand tons respectively in 2012 and 2013.
And the leading product in grain export of Bulgaria is wheat. While an export volume of 1.7 – 2.4 million tons was recorded from 2008 to 2012 in wheat, this amount increased up to 3.6 million tons in 2013. The corn export amount of Bulgaria that is strong in corn production was in 572-938 thousand tons range from 2009 and 2012, and 2.1 million tons in 2013.
GRAIN TRADE IN GREECE
Grain trade of Greece is mainly wheat and corn weighted. According to FAO data, wheat import that increased up to 939 thousand tons in 2011 dropped down to 848 thousand tons in 2013. And the second important imported product is corn. The corn import of Bulgaria was around 175-670 thousand tons in 2005-2013. Greece recorded the highest corn import amount in 2007 with 668 thousand tons, and this amount dropped down to 238 thousand tons in 2012 and increased to 396 thousand tons in 2013.
And the leading product in grain export of Greece is wheat. 337 thousand tons of wheat in 2012, 208 thousand tons of wheat in 2013 was exported. Rice, another product that is exported, achieved an export volume of 97 thousand tons in 2013.
FLOUR TRADE IN BULGARIA AND GREECE
The number of members of Union of Bulgarian Millers (UBM) is 215. Production capacity of the largest mill, which is located on Sofia, is 750 tons per day. 13 of all the mills have a capacity of more than 150 tons per day. According to FAO’s data, the wheat flour export of Bulgaria was around 18-49 thousand tons in 2008-2013. In Bulgaria that exported 49 thousand tons wheat flour in 2012, this amount decreased to 43 thousand tons in 2013. There are ups and downs in the wheat flour import of Bulgaria, too. The import volume that was 6 thousand tons in 2011 increased to 27 thousand tons in 2012 and decreased to 12 thousand tons in 2013.
According to the research of Professor Subramanyam Bhadriraju from Kansas State University, there are 212 mills in Greece. Their daily capacity is of around 13.095 tons. Most of the mills process wheat. Among 212 mills, more than half of them produce less than 50 tons of flour per day. Around 14 mills have production capacity of more than 100 tons. There are only two mills processing wheat with a capacity of more than 500 tons per day. While two of the mills are owned by cooperatives only 7 percent of all the mills process corn, oats, barley, rice and feed. The wheat flour export of Greece decreased after 2009. Wheat flour export that is recorded as 30 thousand tons in 2011 was 25 thousand tons in 2012. And it increased up to 31 thousand tons in 2013. The wheat flour import of Greece is around 16-32 thousand in the last five years. Wheat flour import that is recorded as 23 thousand tons in 2011 was 32 thousand tons in 2013.