Romanian sunflower production in the EU-27 is expected to decline compared to the previous year, but the EU Commission projects an increase in overall output in the EU.
The high oil content of sunflower seed, often over 40%, makes it an excellent choice as a biofuel crop.
According to an EU Commission forecast, the EU-27 sunflower area to be harvested in 2020 will likely be around 4.4 million hectares.
This will translate to around a 81,000 hectare increase year-on-year. The sunflower area in Romania has slumped 9% to 1.2 million hectares, but is still the largest producer in the EU.
The sunflower hectarage in Italy and Germany also shrunk compared to the previous year, by 5% and 19% respectively.
By contrast, Bulgaria, Spain, France and Hungary are expected to see significant expansions in sunflower area in some places.
According to the Agrarmarkt-Informations Gesellschaft, France is projected to see a sharp increase in production. The French sunflower cultivation area amounts to 690,000 hectares, which is up 14% year-on-year.
The EU Commission anticipates yields to hit 23.4 decitonnes per hectare (up 1.2% year on year and 4.4% above the five-year average). Consequently, EU sunflower production is likely to total up to 10.3 million tonnes due to the larger area sown.
The anticipated decline in Romania will be more than offset by expectations of significantly larger crops in Slovenia, France and Bulgaria.
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