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Agriculture: Cereal traders: export suspension in April affected Romania's credibility abroad


The suspension of cereal exports, a decision made by authorities in April, when Romania was in emergency state because of the new coronavirus, brought Romanian farm produce traders and farmers losses of thousands of euros, to which the drop of credibility abroad was added.

Also, the measure still brings effects in the market, even though the decision was canceled later on, cereal traders and farmers say.

Vasile Varvaroi, the president of ARCPA (Romanian Association of Farm Produce Traders) pointed out at a meeting with the press that Romania has no competitors in the cereal production area nor is it in competition with Black Sea giants but has a great advantage in the export area – predictability.

“We are an average country and the countries we compare with in the Black Sea area are larger. Among the advantages we have is predictability. Romania, compared to Russia and Ukraine, was  and is considered a predictable partner, because it is a EU member, institutions function better and it is a pity to lose this advantage”, the association president said.

In context, Varvaroi mentioned that dialogue was reached, including at government level, and the situation could be rapidly solved, but decisions cannot be made from one day to the other.

In his turn, Emilian David, a member of ARCPA, the representative of CHS Agritrade Romania, said the moment of the interdiction of cereal export left the impression of lack of information and data kept under control, “there was a cleavage between rulers, people who promote laws and executives.”

“It is not simple to enter an international market and one must take into account many risks even after advancing. After reaching the conclusion you can present a Romanian product and consolidate it, such a blow can take you to the minus position again. It is a pity,” he said.

On April 10, the government decided the suspension of cereal exports, when Romania was in emergency state because of the new coronavirus, taking into account March data which showed that over 700,000  tons of cereals were exported, and the country's food safety could have been affected. A week later the decision was reconsidered under pressures made by the European Commission, Romania being the only country from the community block to have made such a decision.