Czech Republic: Potato prices will double

This year’s potato harvest is expected to be one of the poorest in decades. Due to the prolonged period of drought, the total potato harvest this season will be around 20 percent lower than in the previous year.

Last year, Czech farmers harvested some 820,000 tons of potatoes, while this year, the yield is expected to stop at 645,000 tons, says the Czech Association of Potato Growers. The lowest harvest over the past ten years was that of 2016, when the yield dropped to 604,000 tons.

The total area of potato fields in the Czech Republic has gone down this year by around 2.3 percent, but the poor yield was mainly due to the unusually hot and dry season.

Adverse weather conditions have also resulted in lower potato harvests in all of Europe’s main potato-growing countries, including Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. These countries are facing a 30-percent drop in production.

According radio.cz, agrarian specialist Petr Havel says the price of potatoes is likely to double as a result of the poor harvest.

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/9030750/czech-republic-potato-prices-will-double/

Slovakia recorded negative trade balance in August 2018

Slovakia’s foreign trade produced a deficit of €81.7 million in August 2018, which is a drop of €23.1 million year-on-year, the Statistics Office reported on October 9.

Total exports amounted to €6.248 billion, up by 5.8 percent y-o-y, while total imports increased by 5.3 percent to reach €6.330 billion, the TASR newswire wrote.

In the January to August period, exports grew 7.5 percent y-o-y to €51.641 billion and imports rose 7.4 percent y-o-y to €49.851 billion. Thus, Slovakia reported an eight-month trade balance surplus of €1.79 billion, up €149.6 million from the same period of last year.

Good eight months

Eight-month exports to other EU-member countries were up by 8.2 percent y-o-y to equal 85.7 percent of Slovakia’s overall exports. Conversely, imports from EU countries comprised 67.8 percent of overall imports, up by 9.2 percent y-o-y.

Exports outside the EU countries swelled by 3.5 percent y-o-y in the January-August period to account for 14.3 percent of the country’s overall exports, according to TASR. Meanwhile, imports from non-EU countries increased by 4 percent in the same period to make up 32.2 percent of imports.

Machinery and transport devices – as the most traded items – made up 59.8 percent of all exports and 47.9 percent of overall imports in the first eight months of this year.

After seasonal adjustments, overall exports reached €6.640 billion (up by 5.8 percent y-o-y), with overall imports reaching €6.458 billion (up by 5.2 percent), thus posting a surplus of €182.6 million (42.3 million up y-o-y).

Deficit in summer usual, 2018 even smaller

Foreign trade was expected to drop into negative in August 2018, but the volume of deficit was milder than foreseen, Ľubomír Koršňák, macroeconomic market analyst of the UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, wrote in a press release.

The balance of foreign trade usually worsens in summer due to summer holiday production shutdowns in plants, he added. This year, a higher deficit resulting from “advance imports” of supplies connected to new production in autumn (especially in the Nitra plant of the Jaguar Land Rover carmaker) has not materialised so far.

Nevertheless, the growth of turnover in foreign trade has lagged behind the strong figures from July, and partially confirmed the hypothesis that compared to 2017, some summer holidays were postponed to August. Both exports and imports were reduced after a seasonal adjustment, and this has resulted in a considerable slow-down of the dynamics of their year-on-year growth, the analyst points out.

On the other hand, exports partially maintained high dynamic growth thanks to the acceleration of y-o-y growth of export prices in the past two months. The growth dynamics of exports have probably slightly slowed-down in reality, even though it has still remained relatively strong, according to Koršňák.

The faster growth of imports is greatly connected with price factors, mostly more expensive crude oil.

Outlook for the near future

In the upcoming few months, a strong domestic demand – both the import of technologies for new car plant and the higher industrial deliveries before the start of production – should affect imports and temporarily worsen the balance of foreign trade. Then new export capacities in the country should considerably encourage the growth of exports – although they may partially be reflected in imports, due to the bigger imports of materials and goods for production.

On the other hand, the cyclic slowdown of growth in Europe could dampen the growth of machinery and electric devices exports. However, the effect of strong automotive growth should prevail, and foreign trade surpluses should start expanding considerably again from the end of the year.

A possible risk for foreign trade remains the potential trade war between the EU and the USA, or the hard Brexit, both being mostly felt by the automotive industry in Slovakia, directly as well as indirectly, Koršňák sums up.

False Rape Accuser: Kellie Bartlett

CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte woman who is accused of falsely reporting that an Eaton County Sheriff’s Deputy raped her also stalked the deputy and sent a nude photo of him to his current girlfriend, according to court records.

Kellie Bartlett, 35, was charged in Eaton County Friday with 10 felonies and four misdemeanors in connection to the false report.

Bartlett filed a complaint with Michigan State Police in January, reporting that the deputy had sexually assaulted her in March 2017. The investigation, however, determined Bartlett was a “willing and consenting partner in this act,” Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Erik Darling testified in a hearing that led to criminal charges.

Bartlett worked with the deputy at the sheriff’s office and they began a relationship in late 2015, according to a news release from the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office. Their relationship ended in spring 2017. Barry County ProsecutorJulie Nakfoor Pratt is prosecuting the case because Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd recused his office.

 

https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2018/09/26/police-charlotte-rape-sex-assault-stalking-jail-crime-news/1429762002/