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Grain and Flour Market in Romania, Slovenia and Croatia

02 November 201610 min reading

The most common grain product in Romania, Slovenia and Croatia is corn. Romania produced 11.3 million tons of corn in 2013 and increased the yield to 11.9 million tons in 2014. The corn production in Slovenia was about 200 thousand tons in 2012 and 2013 and produced 350 thousand tons in 2014. The corn production in Croatia was 1.8 and 2 million tons in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

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Romania which is in the north of the Balkan Peninsula has a population of 19.9 million. Romania, the capital city of which is Bucharest, is very lucky in terms of its rich natural resources as well as advanced industrial and agricultural areas. Other important cities of the country are Constanta, Iaşi, Timisoara, Cluj Napoca, Galati, Brasov and Craiova. Located in the south of Central Europe, Slovenia’s capital city is Ljubljana. With a population of nearly 2 million, the country entered the European Union on May 1, 2004. Croatia, located in the northwest of the Balkan Peninsula, has a population of 4.5 million and includes 20 administrative regions and Zagreb.

GENERAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK Located in southeast Europe and being the second largest market after Poland across Central and Eastern Europe, Romania experienced a strong rural migration with the industrialization process. Suffering severe wounds from World War II, Romania undertook into a major struggle period to boost the economy. Starting to adapt to the free market system after the Romanian Revolution of 1989 (December), Romania attached great importance to trade to stimulate the economic development. What’s more, many reforms were undertaken for this purpose.

Slovenia is one of the developed countries in higher income groups. It is the richest new member of the EU with a per-capita income of 28 thousand Dollars. The most significant characteristic of the country which has a stable economy is that it has a well-trained and efficient workforce structure. In 2016, with the regulations undertaken to boost the work environment and growth of the external demand, the economy of the country is expected to accelerate. The expected growth rate between the years 2016-18 is 2.2%.

Croatia became the 28th member of the EU on July 1, 2013. The economy management has focused policies that will increase the country's competitiveness in order to make most of the opportunities brought by the EU membership. However, the economy of Croatia has been shrinking for the last 12 quarters and the country entered into recession as of the end of 2008. Since 2008, the country's GDP has melted by about 12%. While the poverty rate in the country was 10% before the crises, today this rate has increased to 18% and with the long-term recessions, the poverty rate among the well-trained participating in economic activities and youth in the rural areas has increased.

THE PLACE AND IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE Romania has rich agricultural fields and the lands are suitable for a wide range of products. Most of privatization has been carried out in the agricultural sector since 1989. Between 1989 and 2004, 85% of arable land and 98% of the livestock sector were privatized. Despite this, the agricultural sector was weak when compared with the new European Union members. Even though 80% of the arable land was distributed to the private sector as parcels of limited size after the communism era, only 25 of the farmers up to 2000 had a land bigger than 10 hectares. The slow progress of fragmentation and reassembly as a result of the restitution of the land to its former owners slowed down the mechanization and hence development in the sector. The basic agricultural products grown in the country are corn, wheat, potato, sunflower seed, barley, tomatoes, grapes, apples, cabbage and sugar beet.

The agriculture in Slovenia is generally carried out on lands smaller than 25 hectares. The agricultural sector makes up 2.5% of Slovenia’s GDP and is responsible for meeting 12 % of the employment in the country. Even though this rate is not so high, the agricultural sector is of great significance for the overall employment in the country. There is an extensive agricultural activity in the plains irrigated by the Sava and Drava rivers in the east of the country. Major agricultural products are wheat, corn, potatoes and grapes.

82% of the agricultural land of Croatia is cultivated as privately-run family farms. However, the average size of the farm is less than 2.5 hectares. 72% of a total of 1.2 million hectare arable land is cultivated and 21% is used as the pasture and grassland and 3.6% for fruit cultivation and 2.5% for viticulture. 66% of the arable lands are used for grain, 14% for oilseeds, 11% for forage crops, 4% for sugar beet, 4% for legumes and vegetables and 1% for tobacco cultivation. On the other hand, the agricultural production increased by 8% in 2008. The biggest contributor to the agricultural production was the increase in grain production (15.9% increase) and oilseeds.

GRAIN PRODUCTION IN ROMANIA According to the data obtained from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), corn is the most widely grown grain in Romania. When we analyze the data relating to the corn production between 2005 and 2014, we see that the corn production was between 3 million tons and 12 million tons. The production which increased to 11.3 million tons in 2013 continued to increase in 2014, with an annual yield of 11.9 million tons.

Another significant grain produced by Romania is the wheat. We see that the wheat production varies between 3 and 8 million tons. The wheat production was 7.1 million tons in 2011 and it increased in 2013 to 7.2 million tons. One of the other significant products is the barley. The barley production in Romania was 1 million ton between 2011 and 2014. The corn production in 2014 was 1.7 million tons.

GRAIN PRODUCTION IN SLOVENIA According to the data from FAO, corn is the most produced grain cultivated in Slovenia. The corn production was between 200-300 thousand tons between 2005 and 2014. The production in 2011 was 349 thousand tons and it was about 200 thousand tons in 2012 and 2013 and it reached 350 thousand tons in 2014. Wheat is another important product cultivated in Slovenia. The wheat production was 188 thousand tons in 2012 but it decreased to 138 thousand tons in 2013. In 2014, it increased to 173 thousand tons. The barley production in Slovenia is at most 90 thousand tons.

GRAIN PRODUCTION IN CROATIA The most produced grain in Croatia is the corn. When we analyze the data from 2005-2014, we see that the corn production was 1-3 million tons. While the corn production was 1.7 million tons in 2011, it decreased to 1.2 million tons in 2012. The corn production was 1.8 and 2 million tons in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Another important product cultivated by Croatia is the wheat. While the wheat production in Croatia was 780 thousand tons-1 million tons in 2011 and 2013, it produced 648 thousand tons in 2014. The barley production in Croatia was 160 and 280 thousand tons.

GRAIN TRADE IN ROMANIA The grain trade carried out by Romania is dominated by that of wheat and corn. As the internal demand for these products increase, the import of wheat and corn increases, too. According to the data obtained from FAO, while the wheat import of Romania reached 531 thousand tons in 2012, this volume increased in 2013 and increased to 679 thousand tons in 2013. As to the corn import, while the year of 2012 saw 698 thousand tons of corn imported, the import was 284 thousand tons in 2013. The barley import of Romania was 138 and 222 thousand tons in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The most significant product exported by Romania is the wheat. While the export of wheat was 2 million tons between 2008 and 2012, this volume increased to 4,7 million tons in 2013. Romania where the production of corn is strong increased the volume of corn export between 2009 and 2013 and it reached 3,2 million tons in 2013.

GRAIN TRADE IN SLOVENIA The grain trade in Slovenia is dominated by the wheat and corn. According to the data obtained from FAO, the corn import of Slovenia was 130 and 270 thousand tons in 2005 and 2013 respectively. Slovenia reached the highest import volume in 2011 with 265 thousand tons and this volume decreased to 201 thousand tons in 2012 and it increased to 237 thousand tons in 2013. The second most imported product is the wheat and the wheat export was 111 thousand tons in 2012 and 204 thousand tons in 2013. One of the most exported products in Slovenia is corn. While 140 thousand tons of corn was exported in 2012, this volume was 135 thousand tons in 2013. Another exported product is the wheat and it reached 113 thousand tons in 2013. GRAIN TRADE IN CROATIA Even though the grain import is below 50 thousand tons in Croatia, its grade trade can be maintained to be dominated by barley. The barley import was 29 thousand tons in 2012 and it was 31 thousand tons in 2013. Wheat is an important product exported by the country. The wheat export is increasing year by year. While the wheat export was 108 thousand tons in 2011, it increased to 394 thousand tons in 2012 and 402 thousand tons in 2013. The corn export was 106 thousand tons in 2012 and it reached 115 thousand tons in 2013.

FLOUR TRADE IN ROMANIA, SLOVENIA  AND CROATIA According to the data obtained from the European Flour Millers Association, the number of mills in Romania is 120. The processing capacity of the mentioned mills is over 150 tons per month. In addition, it is known that there are close to 200 mills with a production capacity of less than 150 tons. According to the data obtained from the FAO, the flour export in Romania varied around 4 thousand and 16 thousand between 2008 and 2013. Exporting 5414 tons of flour in 2012, Romania increased this amount to 15 thousand tons in 2013. There is an increase in Romania’s import of flour. While the flour import was 143 thousand tons in 2011, it increased to 111 thousand tons in 2012 and to 117 thousand tons in 2013.

Slovenia's wheat flour export is increasing. The export of wheat flour which was 14 thousand tons in 2011 increased to 20 thousand tons in 2012. However, it decreased to 4 thousand tons in 2013. With more than 27 thousand tons of flour import, Slovenia exported 29 thousand tons and 28 thousand tons of flour in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

While Croatia exported 16 thousand tons of wheat flour in 2011, it increased its export to 18 thousand tons in 2012. The export volume was 18 thousand tons in 2013. When we analyze the import volume, we see that it was 14 thousand tons in 2011 and it remained around 13 thousand tons in 2012 and 2013.

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