BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — Due to a lingering drought, Romania’s grain production in 2020-21 is forecast to fall by 2.6% despite a 2.2% increase in planted area, according to a May 18 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As a result, total grain exports for the coming marketing year are projected to decline by 5.5% following a 9.5% increase in exports in 2019-20.

“Amid fears that grain and oilseed stocks would run low, the Romanian government suspended temporarily oilseed and grain exports to non-EU markets in mid-April,” the USDA said.

The decision was reversed a week later as pressure from producers as well as the European Commission led the government to rescind its export ban.

The USDA estimates a decline in wheat production in 2020-21 to 8.3 million tonnes from 8.6 million tonnes, despite a 5.2% increase in planted hectares.

Romania’s corn acreage will remain stable at 2.65 million hectares and the USDA projects a slight decrease in output to 14 million tonnes during the coming marketing year, which starts July 1.

Barley production is forecast to decline by 3% to 1.55 million tonnes in 2020-21, the USDA said.

Barley is primarily an export crop in Romania.

“Exports are forecast marginally lower due to the forecast shorter harvest, with 85% of Romanian barley exports shipped to non-EU markets,” the USDA said.