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Romania's record high sunflower crop to be exported unprocessed due to lack of oil plants

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Romania registers this year the highest sunflower output since it joined the EU, by approximately 1.22 million tons higher compared to 2020, but due to the lack of processing units it has to sell the unprocessed crop to EU countries and not only, say the representatives of the Romanian Farmers Club.

"Romania uses for domestic consumption about 1.2 - 1.3 million tons out of a total forecast sunflower crop of 3.3 million tons this year. This amount represents roughly 34 percent of the EU's production for this culture, achieved at a minimum yield of 2.75 tons per hectare, from a sown area of 1.2 million hectares. This year Romania's sunflower production is at the maximum when referenced to its period as a EU member, by approximately 1.22 million tons more compared to 2020. Yet the lack of processing units at national level compels the sale of the unprocessed crop to countries such as Bulgaria (approximately 400,000 tons/year), Turkey (approximately 400,000 tons) year), Hungary (about 220,000 tons/year), Asian or Western European states (the Netherlands, France and Spain). In this agricultural year, about two million tons will be exported to EU and non-EU states," explains Cezar Gheorghe, Romanian Farmers Club consultant and grain trade expert analyst.

Farming experts point to the considerable price difference between the $535/ton obtained from the export of unprocessed crop and the $1,570/ton for the sale of processed products - with the latter figure representing the sum of the crude oil price ($ 1,200/ton) and the price for the resulting sunflower meal ($370/ton), Agerpres informs.

"This calculation shows that Romania could have generated this year, from the sunflower culture alone, an added value of $2,070,000,000 without taking into account the revenues from the related industry (processing, the business of the suppliers of products needed for processing, the activity of plastics producers, oil logistics and distribution, the distribution and support to the meat industry through the sale of meal, etc.)," the Romanian Farmers Club officials argue.

Centralized data shows that the area cultivated with sunflower in Romania represents 27.3 percent of the EU's total area under this crop.

In 2020 Romania reported a significant deficit in sunflower production of 820,000 tons, which subsequently prompted changes in the prices of the main agri-food products and more.

The Romanian Farmers Club for High-performance Agriculture is a non-profit and non-governmental association of Romanian farmers.

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