Germany, European Union’s second largest exporter, has begun to buy wheat from Romania as the winter wheat crop is expected to fall 20 percent on the year, according to traders cited by Reuters.

“Germany is usually one of the EU’s biggest wheat exporters but will swing to an importer this season especially for animal feed,” a German trader said.

“About 800,000 tonnes of feed wheat have already been bought, mostly from Romania and Bulgaria, and I think more could be bought,” he added.

Germany is EU’s second-largest producer, but the winter wheat crop is expected to fall 19.9 percent on the year to 19.2 million tonnes, after the highest July temperatures in history.

But Romania is likely to remain a strong exporter this year, despite a drop of its crop, traders estimate.

Romania usually exports its wheat to the Middle East, but is likely to prefer European clients in 2018, due to higher prices offered.

In 2017, Romania registered a record harvest of cereals of 27.1 million tonnes, up 25 percent compared to 2016, wheat production soaring to all time high of over 10 million tonnes, according to a report of National Institute of Statistics (INS).

According to data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), between July 2017 and April 2018, Romania exported over 30 percent of its wheat output to other EU member states.

But Romania’s wheat exports have dropped in the past nine months by 20 percent year-on-year, from 6 million tons to 4.8 million tons, due to lower output and the exit from markets such as Morocco and Turkey.

During the period surveyed, most of Romania’s the exports have focused on European Union countries, and mainly Spain, where production dropped due to drought.

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