Since Last autumn, farmers in Romania did not receive a lot of precipitations, which could lead to a bad harvest for winter crops, especially wheat, barley and rapeseed.
Low amount of precipitations
Drought since last autumn
From August 2018, South-East and South Romania received between 130 and 170 mm (in 6 months) which is a very low level compared to the average. Winter planting period was very dry which hampered crop germination. Moreover, wheat areas decreased as well as rapeseed due to these adverse weather conditions. Thus, the wheat area is estimated at 1.9 Mha compared to 2.1 Mha last year. According to the graphs below, the level of soil moisture is still very low in both South-east and West Romania. This will have an impact on the final yield, due to lower plant density than usual.
Soil moisture level in South and West Romania
Good level of production from 2013 to 2018
2018: a record production
The 2018 harvest has reached a record at 10.14 Mt according to official statistics in Romania. This is just higher than the 2017 production which was already above 10 Mt even if the weather during spring 2018 has been quite dry compared to 2017.
This increase of the production shows that yields are increasing strongly thanks to investments from farmers in machinery, seeds, inputs… This increase is only due to an increase of yields, because the area remains rather stable throughout the last few years.
Wheat production estimation in Romania from 2006
The 3rd wheat exporter in the European union
Two major production regions are identified: the South-East connected to the Constanta harbor and the Western part from which a significant part of the production is exported to Western Europe.
Carpathians mountains are passing through the Center of the country.
For the past years, Romania has become the 3rd wheat exporter in the European Union after France and Germany. Exports of wheat reached around 5.5 Mt in 2017/18 with main destinations: Egypt, Jordan and the European Union (Spain, Italy).
The country imports also wheat from Bulgaria and Hungary (500 Kt and around 250 Kt respectively in 2017/18) and these volumes are exported through the Danube river and account for export figures from Romania. In 2016/17, Imports from Hungary reached even more than 1 Mt, which can make a strong difference in Romanian export figures.
This year, the export potential can be reduced in Romania, and the situation is similar in Bulgaria and Hungary with dryness for winter crops.
Regional share of the national wheat production in Romania
The 2019 harvest in Romania can be much lower than last year because of dryness. Even if farmers had some rains Mid-April, the germination has already been affected during winter and before rains in April. The export potential can thus be reduced in 2019/20 marketing year.
If you want to know more, discover the Romanian agricultural sector but also have a qualified insight on the production for wheat and other crops, do not hesitate to contact us and to book a seat in our car in June!