Romania Challenges US Suppliers of Dry Legumes

An Expert's View about Vegetables and Melons, Roots and Tubers in Romania

Posted on: 29 Apr 2012

In 2011, the rich vegetable crop in general, and peas and beans in particular, enables households and vegetables canners to source fresh raw material at very competitive prices on the domestic market.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 4/19/2012 GAIN Report Number: RO1208 Romania Post: Bucharest Romania Challenges US Suppliers of Dry Legumes Report Categories: Vegetables Agricultural Situation Approved By: Michael Henney Prepared By: Monica Dobrescu Report Highlights: In 2011, higher local production of peas and beans coupled with falling consumer purchasing power resulted with declining demand satisfied through trade. While area planted to peas increased by 64 percent over the last two years, area devoted to beans declined. Dried lentils remains the most promising market for U.S. suppliers, although declining consumer buying power in 2011 dampened emerging interest for the higher quality U.S. product. General Information: Ministry of Agriculture data show over the past three years area planted to peas and beans moving in opposite directions while production of fresh peas and beans remained an upward trend. Fresh pea harvested volume nearly doubled between 2009 (9,151 MT) and 2011 (16,980 MT). Bean production followed a similar but much smoother trend between 2009 (16,002 MT) and 2011 (18,159 MT). Major factors leading to larger yields of peas and beans include expansion of area planted, favorable weather conditions, and application of better technology. Areas and production, Pea and beans, Romania, 2009-2011 Product 2009 2010 2011 HA MT HA MT HA MT Peas, total 23,511 29,010 24,274 43,132 29,128 56,628 of which, of which for feeding for 17,261 19,859 18,885 32,061 18,827 39,648 consumption 6,250 9,151 5,389 11,071 10,301 16,980 Beans 14,905 16,002 13,894 16,199 13,783 18,159 Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development In 2011, the rich vegetable crop in general, and peas and beans in particular, enables households and vegetables canners to source fresh raw material at very competitive prices on the domestic market. With a larger number of households turning to home processing for winter use of their grown and acquired vegetables, the import demand for raw materials declined. Overall, canned food sales fell domestically due to lower consumer demand influenced heavily by the availability of own product and weakening purchasing power. Although no major changes are expected in terms of area for selected types of legumes, it is unlikely the same volume and quality will be achieved in 2012, given the long range forecast for less favorable weather conditions during the growing season. In 2011, dried pea imports declined almost 50 percent as a result of the increased availability of fresh pea locally. Hungary and Canada, the country?s two largest suppliers, each exported about 200 MT to Romania. For the last three years the United States has not supplied the Romanian market. In 2011, imports of fresh and chilled pea rose 6 percent, while frozen peas declined slightly (please see table below). Hungary and Czech Republic remain major suppliers of fresh and chilled peas, while Belgium and Poland are the top providers of frozen peas. Trade, Peas Romania, 2009-2011 Type 2009 2010 2011 Peas, fresh or chilled Import (MT) 982 936 1,000 Export (MT) 4,686 4,820 4,282 Peas, frozen Import (MT) 3,503 4,324 4,196 Export (MT) 477 228 255 Peas, dried Import (MT) 996 1,231 637 Export (MT) 613 1,069 235 Source: Global Trade Atlas In 2011, similar to peas, imports of beans (all types) fell by 11 percent. In 2010, imports of beans fell by 21 percent. China remains the major supplier of dried beans ? the main category of beans - accounting for half of such imports, followed by Egypt and Bulgaria. Trade, Beans Romania, 2009-2011 Type 2009 2010 2011 Beans, fresh or chilled Import (MT) 855 1,686 872 Export (MT) 159 888 203 Beans, frozen Import (MT) 1,905 2,639 2,583 Export (MT) 5 215 58 Beans, dried Import (MT) 34,862 25,197 22,714 Export (MT) 331 2,290 996 Source: Global Trade Atlas Unlike peas and beans, imports of dried lentils reflect an upward trend ? from 187 MT in 2009, to 254 MT in 2010, to 352 MT in 2011. The United States, an important lentils supplier of lentils in 2009 and 2010, recorded no exports in 2011. The U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, a U.S. trade organization, returned to the market recently to ascertain opportunities for U.S. products and to monitor activities of competitive suppliers.
Posted: 29 April 2012