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Agriculture: Romania expects cereal excess this year


The weather and higher production costs show that Romania's cereal yield will be somehow lower than the good yield recorded last year, but still ensures excess for exports, said agriculture minister Adrian Chesnoiu, in an interview granted to Reuters.


Romania has been one of the biggest cereal sellers in EU and is an active exporter in the Middle East, Egypt being the main buyer.


Romania exports through its main harbor Constanta, which Ukraine has been using as alternate route since Russia blocked the Black Sea ports, four months ago. Chesnoiu said that pressure is felt in the harbor.


In 2021, Romania had a record level of cereals, including 11.3 million tons of wheat. Its cereal cultures are 2-3 times higher than its domestic needs.


Wheat processors from Asia will probably increase wheat purchases from France and Romania in the new season, as supplies from the key global exporter remain blocked, following the Russian invasion, traders said.


It is important for us to maintain a stable production level. This way, by not reducing cereal quantities obtained in Romania, there will not be additional pressures in the market,” Chesnoiu declared.


He pointed out that he hoped Romanian farmers would use available EU funds in the next 3-5 years to increase their processing capacity and bring added value to their cultures.


He also showed that the potential risk factors which may trigger export restrictions this year are not existing at present.


If Ukraine, a country under siege, has not blocked exports, imagine what kind of conditions should be fulfilled that Romania blocked its cereal exports,” the agriculture minister said.


In the conditions in which Ukraine has sent thought Romania at least 4% of the 20 million tons of cereals which it has to move, observers say the new crops, to be gathered by end July, will trigger blocking.

Chesnoiu said pressure on Constanta harbor existed even before the Ukraine war, in top harvesting campaign in Romania, but now the port will invest to extend its capacity.


A record level of 25.2 million tons of cereals from Romania and from its neighbor without sea exit were sent last year.


Chesnoiu declared he did not expect cereal storage to be a problem for Romanian farmers this year, with a capacity of 29 million tons and growing level.

The Romanian official also said Romania could supply temporary storage facilities for the new cereal harvest from Ukraine, if needed.