WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Romanian oilseed crop area is forecast to total 1.65 million hectares in marketing year 2016-17, which is almost 8% more than last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service said in an April 13 report. 

Oilseed production estimate for market year 2016-17 exceeds 3.5 million tonnes, a 16% increase as compared to previous year. As a result of higher seed availability, total meal production is projected at 930,000 tonnes for market year 2016-17, a 7% year-on-year increase. Soybean meal remains at the top of protein meals used by the livestock industry. A higher oilseed crush will generate a boost in oil production whereas oil consumption is predicted to marginally grow in market year 2016-17.

Protein crop production only covers 30% of the protein consumed as animal feed in the E.U. The remaining 70% of the protein crops imported. Soybean and soybean products cover the majority of protein needs. In order to stimulate an increase in protein crops, the E.U. Commission gave member states the opportunity to support the production of protein crops through coupled support as part of the new Common Agricultural Policy (2014-2020).

In order to be eligible for the coupled support, farmers must comply with several requirements: they have to show authorities proof that they own soybean crushing capacity or have signed a contract with a crusher or trader for soybean deliveries. In addition, soybean yield must exceed 1.3 tonnes per hectare. Starting with 2016, only certified seeds can be used for planting in order to be eligible for coupled support. In regard to genetically modified contamination, starting back in June 2015 seeds exceeding the approved contamination level with genetically modified will be denied acceptance for planting.

Soybean area is likely to exceed 130,000 hectares compared to 120,000 hectares in the previous year. Under the assumption of higher yields, total soybean production is anticipated to grow to 260,000 tonnes. Soybean import for crush is anticipated to marginally decline in response to higher domestic availability, while the crush will slightly increase to 230,000 tonnes.

As expected, soybean area grew to an estimated 120,000 hectares from 86,000 hectares as a result of including soybeans among the crops eligible for E.U. coupled support. The level of support is estimated at 325 euros per hectares (U.S. $358 per tonne), but the final figure depends on the total eligible reported area. About 40% of the soybean production is anticipated to be exported, mostly to other E.U. countries. 
Soybean meal remains the favorite meal used in the feed ratio in Romania by all livestock sectors. In market year 2016-17 domestic soybean meal production is expected to continue its upward trend as a result of a higher crush. No major changes are expected in regard to soybean meal incorporation into feed ratios given its price competitiveness but temporary replacements might occur with other feeding ingredients, such as wheat, which currently is more competitive in comparison with corn. Soybean meal utilization is projected to marginally decline in market year 2015-16, but recover in market year 2016-17 if it maintains its price competitiveness.