Steady Growth Demand for Feed and Protein Meals in Romania Signals Opportunities for U.S. Soy
Although the output of Romania’s feed industry didn’t follow typical high growth in 2017, the overall trend for the past few years is marked by a steady increase of about two percent per year in feed production, consolidation, and sophistication, backed by a growing demand for quality meat from local and European markets.
Thanks to its close proximity to Western European large meat markets such as Germany and France, and having easy access to the major international soy trade paths due to the Port of Constanta, Romania is well-positioned for an increase in the near future in feed and livestock numbers. The growth trend in feed production is predicted to continue to boost consumption for feed grains and protein meals, particularly for soybeans used in poultry, livestock, and edible oils production.
This was one of the main take-home messages from the technical conference, “Recent Advances in Feed Ingredients, Manufacturing and Additives,” organized during the last week of March by the Romanian Feed Manufacturers Association, in conjunction with the National Institute for Animal Nutrition.
Since joining the EU in 2007, Romania is one of the European countries with the highest potential in the agricultural sector, being the sixth largest utilized agricultural area in EU. Over the few past decades, Romania has ranked first in EU both in cultivated area and sunflower production, as well as second in corn grain production after France. With a total of 22 million tons of yearly grains production, Romania is the fifth largest EU grain producer. The boost in grains production to record levels over the past few years was possible due to due to several factors, among them: favorable weather conditions, increasing investments in agricultural technologies, and proper fertilizer management.
The local feed and livestock industries should take advantage of having easy access to corn, wheat, and barley to accelerate the growth of the animal industry within the coming years. Despite the competitive advantage given by the abundance of and affordable prices for locally produced grains, the efficiency of meat production was often threatened during the past few years by quality or market volatility of the main protein source used by the Romanian feed industry: soybean meal.
USSEC consultant Dr. Iani Chihaia visited the industry event and noted during the open discussion session, “Clearly, high quality protein sources will continue to be one of the key elements for continuous improvements in the Romanian feed and livestock sectors. Among these, the supply of high quality soybean meal will continue to play a critical role in maintaining high performances and increase efficiency in meat production. U.S Soy exporters are interested in capturing the potential opportunities and gain more market share by closely following up and continuing offering technical support through USSEC, with the goal to build preference for U.S. Soy.”