Romania suspends non-EU grain and oilseed exports

The government of Romania has suspended most exports of grains, oilseeds and related products to markets outside of the EU, according to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on 16 April.

Following the move, which took effect on 10 April, deliveries could continue within the EU as long as trading partners could guarantee that the commodities would be consumed within the EU and not re-exported.

The government made the decision due to the COVID-19 pandemic and growing concerns about the impact of drought on winter crops, the report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said.

On 9 April, the government had issued Military Ordinance No 8, which suspends exports of most grains, oilseeds, and related products to non-EU export markets during the state of emergency.
“The objective is to ensure Romanian food security, amid increasing fears that grain and oilseed stocks will run low due to exports,” the USDA said.

According to the ordinance, exports of wheat, barley, oats, corn, rice, wheat flour, soyabeans, sunflowerseeds, sunflower oil, sugar, bakery products, soyabean meal, and other oilcakes would be suspended during the state of emergency.

Romania’s winter crops were threatened by drought conditions. Although the 2019-20 winter had been mild, the level of precipitation had been below normal, following dry conditions during the autumn of 2019, the USDA said. Dry soil conditions might also have a negative impact on ongoing spring planting operations for corn, sunflower and soyabeans.

The country usually exports a large percentage of its grain and oilseed crops. In 2019-20, exports were expected to increase 1.4% from its record exports of 12.9M tonnes in 2018-19.