Romania remains the largest producer of sunflower in the European Union, in 2020, both in terms of production, with a total of 2.07 million tonnes and 1.22 million hectares, according to the provisional data announced by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).Last year, the total sunflower harvest decreased due to drought by 1.497 million tonnes, respectively 42pct, compared to 2019 when it exceeded 3.569 million tonnes.
Following Romania in the ranking of countries with the highest sunflower production in the EU are: the neighbouring countries Hungary, with a total of 1.749 million tonnes and a cultivated area of 617,000 hectares, and Bulgaria - 1.66 million tonnes (810,000 hectares), and France - 1,655 million tonnes (775,000 hectares).
Romania has consistently held the first place in the European Union in sunflower production, and also in terms of the cultivated area, since 2015, with a significant seed export potential as well, considering that the domestic consumption needs a total of only 750,000 tonnes.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, last year Romania exported 1.544 million tonnes of sunflower seeds to the intra- and extra-community space, collecting almost 606 million euros. Unfortunately, the export of sunflower seeds is eight times higher than the export of oil, and the revenues more than four times. The Agriculture Ministry data show that last year a quantity of 190,600 tonnes of sunflower oil was delivered on the foreign market, and the amount collected slightly exceeded 150 million euros.
On the other hand, in 2020 a quantity of 250,700 tonnes of sunflower seeds worth 207.1 million euros was imported.