Romania bans grain exports to protect food supply

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

No more grain shipments will be leaving Romania until the coronavirus pandemic has eased, its prime minister has said.

Romania has banned the export of grain products to nations outside the European Union in what it says is a measure to protect its own food supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has passed the decree as part of its declaration of a national state of emergency, which is expected to last until mid-May and includes wheat, barley, oats, maize and many other products.

Grain will still be allowed for sale within the EU, but companies must have paperwork in place to prove it is not intended for export outside the bloc.

According to Bloomberg, export procedures for agri-food products that had already been in place before the military ordinance was introduced will also be suspended.

Although nations such as Russia and Kazakhstan have imposed export limits on some foodstuffs, this is the first time a country has brought in an outright ban on shipments.

Prime minister Ludovic Orban said: "If necessary, I'm determined to ban these exports and even seize them."

EU agriculture commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski has criticised the measure as "not proportionate".

Romania is the second-biggest wheat shipper in the EU and also supplies Egypt, Jordan, South Korea and Sudan.

However, the Romanian government insists much of the grain crop has already been harvested and sold at this point in the season, so trade should not be too badly affected.