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Romania’s agri-food imports, at historical peak in 2016; deficit six times higher than in 2015

Romania registered last year a deficit of EUR 557.4 million in agrifoodstuffs trade, more than six times higher than in 2015 when it totaled EUR 89.2 million and the imports reaching a historic high of EUR 6.51 billion, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) data reveal.

At the same time, the exports totaled EUR 5.95 billion, up by 3.8 percent compared to 2015, but the agri-food imports grew at a faster rate, by 11.8 percent respectively, to a level EUR 6.51 billion, considered a historical record.

“The trade surplus level of EUR 1.256 billion with third countries was not high enough to compensate the lack of performance of Romania’s food exchange with other Member States, the record deficit registered with the EU being almost double the previous year, EUR 1.814 billion respectively,” MADR also shows.

External supplies of wheat totaled about 7 million tons, which is two times higher than the previous year, which grossed EUR 1.14 billion and placed the wheat first in the top of agri-food exports.

According to the quoted source, an important part of the increased volume of wheat exported in 2016 came from acquisitions in Hungary and Bulgaria to re-export through the port of Constanta.

On the other hand, in 2016 corn exports fell by EUR 257.5 million to EUR 702.4 million for a quantity of 3.43 million tons.  Also, cigarettes exports decreased by EUR 176.4 million, while export of poultry was relatively constant – 66,500 tons, but in terms of value decreased by EUR 21.2 million to EUR  112.3 million.

As regards agrifoodstuffs imports, the pork meat is still in the top with a quantity of 197,000 tons, worth EUR 343.6 million.

The same MADR data show that 63,500 tons of cheese were imported, worth EUR 178 million (up by ER 39 million compared to 2015.

However, EU was Romania’s main partner in agri-food trade: the deliveries to these destinations had a value share of 60.7 percent of total exports, and purchases of agrifoodstuffs from Member States accounted for 83.4 percent of total imports.

About Anca Bernovici