This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/22/2019


BiH has approximately 1.6 million hectares of land suitable for cultivation.  Domestically, the sectors with the best available and productive natural resources are fruits and vegetables, livestock, and poultry.  The most important crop is corn followed by wheat and barley.  Small, low-output, family farms averaging 2-5 hectares characterize agricultural production along with low input use (fertilizers, chemicals, and certified seeds), older crop management and post-harvest management practices, and poor railway and road infrastructure.  The agricultural sector’s share of GDP is approximately 8 percent, while it accounts for 20 percent of total employment.  Agriculture remains mostly in private hands, but farms are small and inefficient, and the country remains a net food importer.  In 2018, agri-food imports totaled $1.89 billion, while exports were valued at $533 million.  Agricultural products only represent approximately 9 percent of exports, but account for 17 percent of total imports.  Primary imported food products include beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), grains, tobacco products, and meat and dairy products. 

Table 1: 2018 U.S.-BiH Bilateral Agricultural Trade

Total U.S. Exports to BiH: $34.3 million        

Total U.S. Imports from BiH: $3.7 million

Vegetable Oil (for chemical industry): $30.3 mil.

Coffee: $1.4 mil.

Nuts: $1.2 mil.

Cookies and Pastries: $0.5 mil.

Various Food Ingredients: $1.0 mil.

Alcohol Drinks: $0.2 mil.

Seafood: $0.5 mil.        

Mineral Water: $0.2 mil.

Beans: $0.4 mil. 

Pickled Vegetables: $0.2 mil.

Coffee: $0.2 mil.

Wheat Flour: $0.2 mil.

Pet Food: $0.2 mil.

Wine: $0.2 mil.

U.S. exports to BiH consisted primarily of oil intended for use in the chemical industry, while U.S. imports from BiH were mainly high value food products.  Most U.S. origin products are shipped to BiH through neighboring countries and therefore may not appear as a U.S. origin import.  Actual U.S. exports are likely considerably higher than indicated above.

Table 2: BiH Agri-Food Sector






2019 (Est.)

2020 (Est.)

Market Size







Local Production





















Total Market Size







$ U.S. thousands (total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)


U.S. export opportunities include live animals and meat, processed and fresh fruits and vegetables, alcoholic drinks, grains, mineral
water, confectionary products, feed, and animal genetic products. 

In 2018, BiH’s imports of live animals and meat were valued at $214 million and primarily came from the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, and Serbia.  Meanwhile, BiH’s meat and live animal exports were valued at $40 million (60 percent exported to Turkey). 
BiH’s meat industry has an annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons (MT), which is largely dependent on imported frozen meat for processing.  BiH doesn’t allow the import of meat that has been treated with growth promoting hormones and/or ractopamine.

In 2018, fresh and processed fruit and vegetable imports reached $210.5 million, while exports were valued at $109.5 million.   The most frequently imported products were bananas ($33 million) and citrus fruits ($23.6 million), and the most important suppliers were Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Italy.

In 2018, the value of imported confectionary products reached $121.6 million, while the value of exported products totaled $31.5 million.  Imported confectionary products mainly came from, Croatia, Serbia Turkey, Germany and Poland.  Although the domestic confectionary industry has improved lately in terms of quality and quantity produced, it has been adversely affected by changes in raw material prices, difficult local market conditions and strong foreign competition. 

The value of imported alcoholic beverages in 2018 was $116 million, while exports totaled only $14.4 million.  Beer topped the list, with imports valued at $76 million mainly from Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.  BiH’s beer exports were valued at a modest $2 million. 

BiH does not produce enough grains for its needs and is highly dependent on imports. In 2018, BiH imported 329,357 metric tons (MT) of wheat valued at $70 million, mainly from Hungary, Serbia, and Croatia.  In the same year, BiH imported 227,077 MT of corn valued at $49 million.  Approximately 90 percent of imported corn came from Serbia.  BiH wheat and corn exports were valued at $14.7 million. 

In 2018, BiH spent $93.5 million on mineral water imports and exported $34.3 million worth of mineral water.  Although BiH is among the richest countries in Europe in terms of natural resources of drinking water, BiH’s market is saturated with bottled water imports, mostly from Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. 

In 2018, imports of soybean feed preparations reached 76,393 metric tons, valued at U.S. $32.8 million, of which 64 percent came from Brazil.

The annual market for bovine semen is estimated to be about 350,000 - 400,000 doses annually.  Domestic production is approximately 150,000 doses.  Bovine genetic imports come mainly from European countries (Austria, Germany, Slovenia, and Croatia).  Import tariffs range from zero to ten percent for animal genetics.  Market opportunities exist for U.S. exporters of premium genetic material, including embryo transfer.  There is a need for genetic improvement of BiH’s dairy herds to increase milk and meat production and create higher income for the rural population.

Agricultural Biotechnology Acceptance: Currently, the Law on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) sets the conditions for the limited use, importation, and deliberate release into the environment and marketing of products that are composed of GMOs, contain GMOs, or are derived from GMOs.  Imports of approved genetically engineered (GE) products are permitted, if approved by the Food Safety Agency.  To date, several GE feed importers have received permits for market GE soybean.  A GMO free certificate or a GMO-related statement is often required as part of the import process for grains and similar products.  Products containing approved GE content above a threshold of 0.9 percent must be labeled.  There currently is no policy on the import, labeling, and traceability of genetically engineered (GE) animals and clones, including animal genetics.  However, as part of its EU accession aspirations, BiH’s continues to harmonize its sanitary and phytosanitary requirements with EU regulations.


Web Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides information to buyers looking for U.S. agricultural genetics, bulk and processed commodities, food, and beverage products.  FAS also gathers market information and offers market briefs to help U.S. firms better understand the local market.  For more information on the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service please visit the U.S. Embassy Sarajevo’s FAS website.

For more information on food import requirements and certification, please see:
Exporter Guide
FAIRS Export Certificate Report  

For other FAS reports on specific commodities, please see the following websites:
Global Agricultural Information Network

Other useful links:
BiH Agency for Statistics
BiH Veterinary Office
BiH Plant Health Protection Administration
BiH Agency for Statistics
Federation Institute for Statistics
Republika Srpska Institute for Statistics


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Bosnia and Herzegovina Agribusiness Trade Development and Promotion