Hot weather in the summer months has impacted Romanian rapeseed production, bringing the country’s projected total oilseed output down by 10% for 2018/19.

Total oilseed production was forecast to fall to 4.2M tonnes from the nearly 5M tonnes reached in 2017/18, with higher sunflower and soyabean yields not able to compensate for the losses in rapeseed, according to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) 17 August GAIN report.

Total oilseed planted area in Romania increased by 6% in 2018/19, mostly due to higher rapeseed plantings, but the crop’s harvest was expected to suffer despite the area increase due to dry planting conditions, hot and dry spring weather and heavy rains during the summer harvest.

“Some farmers reported 20-25% lower yields year-on-year due to these unfavourable factors,” said the USDA, projecting rapeseed production 13% lower in 2018/19 at 1.65M tonnes.

Nonetheless, Romanian rapeseed exports surged in the first nine months of 2017/18, with most being shipped to European markets, including Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Sunflower planted area increased marginally, but spring drought – despite the favourable rains in late summer – brought production down, with the USDA projecting Romania to produce 2.4M tonnes of sunflower, 8% lower than in the previous year.

However, sunflower farmers remained optimistic about the late rains improving the crop yield and quality, noted the USDA.

Soyabeans remained a minor crop in Romania, with planted area 12% lower than in 2017/18 and production forecast to fall from 360,000 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes for 2018/19.