USDA: Large grain production, a problem for Romania because of transport infrastructure

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Favorable weather, government subsidies, proper fertilizer management and disease prevention boosted Romanian winter and summer-crop production in 2017, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service notes in its report about Romania’s grains and feeds. Post estimates a 10 percent, cumulative production increase for wheat, corn and barley.

However, this increase follows good yields in 2016, adding more pressure on Romania’s transportation network and storage capacity. Post expects Romanian grain exports will increase.

“Larger stocks will exert pressure on Romania’s storage and transportation infrastructure.  Grain may be shipped by road, river, and rail.  Agricultural barge traffic on Danube River to the Port of Constanta has increased, but overland truck transportation remains the primary means of delivering most commodities to port. The Port of Constanta is the primary port of embarkation and has flourished in recent years. However, infrastructural bottlenecks on road, rail, and waterway persist.  Romanian grain production shows good growth potential, but transportation and infrastructure issues threat Romanian agricultural competitiveness,” the report reads.

Romania exported more than 6.7 million tonnes of wheat during July 2016 – June 2017, 42 percent more than in the same period of the previous year and over 2.9 million tonnes of corn (October 2016- July 2017), 13.44 percent above exports from the same period of the previous year.

The main destination for Romanian wheat is Egypt – 1.1 million tonnes in 2017, 11.82 percent less than last year, but gained the Vietnamese market, which took 838,201 tonnes of domestic wheat, becoming the second destination for Romania. Also this year, Romania sent the first quantities of wheat (647,000 tonnes) to Morocco.

Given the large stock following the 2017 harvest, USDA forecasts the wheat exports for 2017-2018 to reach 7.1 million tonnes, a new record.

As regards the corn exports, these increased by 13 percent during the first ten months of 2016-2017 over the corresponding period last year. 60 percent of corn exports were bound for non-EU markets, including Vietnam (147,000 metric tonnes), Syria (103,000 MT), Lebanon (215,000 MT), Turkey (359,000 MT), and Egypt (325,000 MT). Romania sent 40 percent of its corn to other Member States, including France (269,000 MT) and Spain (339,000 MT). 

 

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