Country Focus Data: Bulgaria
November 01, 1998
by Mindy Dake
The capital of Bulgaria is Sofia.
Demography: Population 8.3 million (July 1997 estimate), -0.63% growth rate; Bulgarian language; Bulgarian orthodox religion.
Geography: Southeastern Europe bordering the Black Sea; temperate climate; mostly mountainous with lowlands in north and southeast.
Government: Republic. Chief of state is President Petar Stoyanov; head of government is Prime Minister Ivan Kostov.
Official agricultural agencies: Ministry of Agriculture.
Economy: Moving from command to market. Agriculture accounts for 12.6% of gross domestic product and employs 18% of the workforce. Gross domestic product in 1996 declined by 10%, but is expected to grow by 4% in 1998.
G.D.P. per capita: $4,630 (1996 estimate).
Currency: the lev. Oct. 1, 1998 exchange rate: 1,640 leva per U.S. dollar.
Exports: U.S.$4.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996), agricultural products, metals and ores, chemicals.
Imports: U.S.$4.1 billion (c.i.f., 1996), fuels, minerals and raw materials; machinery and equipment.
Major crops/agricultural products: Grains, tobacco, sugar beets.
Wheat: Production in the past five years averaged about 3 million tonnes in a range of 3.8 million in 1994 to 1.8 million in 1996. Consumption also averaged about 3 million tonnes. Bulgaria typically is a net wheat exporter, with exports averaging 340,000 tonnes in the past five years.
Coarse grains: Five-year production average is 2.2 million tonnes in a range of 2.8 million in 1995 to 1.5 million in 1996. Feed use in the past five years averaged 1.8 million tonnes, down considerably from an average 2.7 million in the previous five-year period.
Transportation: Railroads, 4,292 km, mostly 1.435-m gauge; highways, 36,777 km, with 33,798 paved; major ports, Burgas, Vama, Nesebur on the Black Sea; Lom, Ruse, Vidin on River Danube.