WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Total Romanian oilseed production in 2018-19 is forecast to drop 10% from last year due to mixed weather conditions that hurt rapeseed yields.
Total oilseed production, including rapeseed, soybeans and sunflower, is estimated at 4.2 million tonnes, according to an Aug. 17 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although soybeans and sunflowers are expected to have above-average yields, it won’t be enough to offset the rapeseed loses.
Romania’s oilseed area has consistently increased over the past five years and accounts for one-third of total grain and oilseed acres. Total oilseed area expanded by 6% in the 2018-19 market year, mainly due to higher rapeseed area.
Despite the increase, dry planting conditions, hot and dry spring weather and then heavy rains during the summer harvest is expected to lower rapeseed yields, according to the GAIN report.
Some farmers reported 20% to 25% lower yields year-on-year due to these unfavorable factors. Rapeseed production is forecast 13% lower at 1.65 million tonnes.
Rapeseed exports surged significantly during the first nine months of 2017-18 with the largest share shipped to other E.U. markets, the report said, particularly the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and the U.K.
The same summer rains that hurt the rapeseed harvest helped sunflowers and soybeans, with above average yields expected.
For sunflowers, which account for the largest share of area planted to oilseeds, farmers are optimistic about yields and quality. Production is expected to reach 2.4 million tonnes, 8% lower than the previous market year.
Soybeans, which are remain a minor crop in Romania, are forecast to decline to 300,000 tonnes from 360,000 tonnes in the previous year.
Imports are expected to increase 10% to 156,000 tonnes.