Eating from abroad. Romania boosts food imports to record-level despite good crops in 2018

Sorin Melenciuc 23/04/2019 | 11:34

Romania has registered last year an all-time high value of food imports on higher domestic demand despite record-crops.

In 2018, Romania imported food and live animals of EUR 6.07 billion, up 2 percent against 2017, while exports rose by 3.6 percent up to EUR 4.2 billion, according to fresh Eurostat data.

The Romanian agriculture sector recorded its best results in history last year, with record yields for wheat, maize and sunflower.

The total grain harvest in 2018 – about 31 million tons – ranks Romania on the third place in the EU but first for maize harvest for the second year in a row.

Eurostat data show that Romania ranks third in the EU, after France and Germany, in cereal production, with 31.89 million tons.

Experts say Romanian agriculture sector is still affected by several key-factors.

“Despite significant investments to upgrade the technological level, crop yields are still heavily influenced by weather conditions,” Euler Hermes said in a report released on Tuesday.

“Farmers’ associations as vectors of productivity gains by exploiting large areas are not prevalent or are at an early stage. The sector is still dependent on subsidies and the absorption rate of EU funds is insufficient,” the report points out.

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