BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — Romania’s oilseed production is projected to decline by 11% in 2020-21 as sunflower planted area is expected to be reduced by 13% due to low profit margins and crop rotation, according to a May 28 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Romania, the EU’s largest sunflower seed producer, is also no longer exempt from the EU’s moratorium of neonicotinoid Plant Protection Products (PPP’s), another factor for many farmers regarding their planting decisions.

The USDA forecasts Romania’s sunflower seed output at 2.6 million tonnes in 2020-21, about 16% lower than the previous year’s record output.

Rapeseed production is expected to increase slightly even though about 60,000 hectares of the 400,000 planted last fall had to be diverted to spring crops due to dry soil conditions. The USDA projects output in 2020-21 at 750,000 tonnes, a 9% increase over last year’s drought-decimated crop.

The forecast for soybeans, perennially the smallest oilseed crop in Romania, is for slightly lower output, just below 400,000 tonnes.

The USDA expects Romania’s oilseed exports to decline by 16% in 2020-21, with sunflower seed trade accounting for most of the decrease, falling 14% to 270,000 tonnes from 315,000.