Romania: Big Corn Exporter, Yet a Significant Importer
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Romania is constantly among the two largest producers of Corn in the European Union (EU). For the 2021/22 harvest year, it ranked second after France. The temperate continental climate, as well as the special quality of the soil in many regions, made agriculture as one of the main economic activities in the country. Romania has a well-balanced landscape divided into almost equal parts between mountains, hills, and plains. Also, the rich hydrographic network makes farming relatively easy.
The country’s economy mainly depends on agriculture, which is proven by the fact that one-fifth of Romanians are employed in agricultural-related activities, compared to the European Union (EU) Member’s average of 4 percent. Corn remains Romania’s top grain crop in terms of area and production. In recent years, Romanian farmers consistently sought to maximize production efficiencies and become increasingly open to intelligent agriculture. However, with limited irrigation and frequently hot and dry summers, Romania’s corn harvest fluctuates significantly.
The USDA forecasted Romania’s corn production to be 13.7 million tons for the marketing year 2021/22, up 0.3 million or 2% compared to the previous forecast and 27% above the poor crop in the last marketing year, when farmers harvested only 8 million tons. In the 2021/2022 marketing year, Romania’s production was 12% higher than the average of the last five years of 12.2 million tons, while the estimated area is similar to the previous year’s 2.6 million hectares. The yield was also estimated at 5.32 tons per hectare, up 4% compared to the previous forecast, 26% over last year’s crop, and 10% above the 5-year average.
Romanian Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said that Corn was the crop most affected by drought in the marketing year of 2021/2022. However, in the areas where we could maintain the temperature comfort through irrigation, yields were all right. Therefore, the country will only export what’s left after safeguarding domestic supplies. He also noted: Unpredictable weather and war in Ukraine tightened global crop supplies, prompting a wave of food protectionism as officials try to limit the impact of soaring prices. Romania exported 4.3 million tons of corn last season. The nation briefly curbed grain exports at the start of the Covid pandemic. Its corn production had been estimated at 14 million tons at the beginning of the year, but farmers have since cut the outlook to 8 million tons.
Even though Romania has a tremendous agricultural advantage, at present, the country does not have the capacity to exploit it to its full potential. Although Romania has the natural benefits of producing a large number of crops, the lack of technology and the absence of irrigation systems significantly affect the agricultural production sector. Romania must adopt a strategic position to tackle the challenges and opportunities facing the agricultural industry. In this manner, Romania must maximize the favorable global and European trends and its competitive advantages by actively participating in the European agricultural and third countries markets.
Iran – A Rising Trade Partner of Romanian Corn Export
As per AgFlow data, Iran was the largest export market of Romanian corn with 1.3 million tons in 2021-2022, followed by Spain (1.2 million tons), Egypt (0.9 million tons), South Korea (0.8 million tons), Israel (0.5 million tons), and the Netherlands (0.4 million tons).
In 2020, Romania exported Corn worth $1.22 billion, making it the 6th largest exporter of Corn in the world. The same year, Corn was the 8th most shipped product in Romania. The leading destination of Corn exports from Romania is Spain ($153M), Netherlands ($108M), Egypt ($99.6M), Italy ($92.8M), and Turkey ($89.8M). At the same time, Romania imported Corn worth $778M, becoming the world’s 15th largest importer of Corn. Corn was the 14th most imported product in Romania in 2020.
Other sources: https://www.romania-insider.com/
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