Bulgaria has a wide variety of grain and oil seed products that are exported to Far East Asia, USA, Europe and Middle East. The price and quantity of these export products is sensitive to many factors such as production volume, climatic conditions, local demand, global competitiveness, trading blocks, prices, subsidies, fluctuations in exchange rates, changes in consumer preferences, availability of arable land and irrigation.
Sunflower seed and meal exportation in Bulgaria
Sunflower production is a large agribusiness in Bulgaria. Sunflower seeds or kernel are de-husked and used for direct consumption as human food. They are also used in baking and confectionery due to their nutritive value.
According to Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), Sunflower products occupy 800,000 Ha but this is set to increase to 814,000 Ha in 2015 and 840,000Ha in 2016. The annual production by 2014 was 1,708,000 MT (metric tons) but this is set to increase to 1,830,000 to 1,900,000 MT between 2016 and 2017. The increase in occasioned by rising demand in Europe, North America and Asia; increased domestic application of the crop in bakeries and confectioneries as well as diversification to various forms of sunflower varieties. Bulgaria farmers are increasing the production oil bearing, high oleic and confectionery varieties of sunflower.
These are the principal supplement to protein and are suitable for human and animal consumption. The market for soybeans is increasing in Asia and European countries. However, high production in USA, China, Argentina, Bulgaria, and Brazil have resulted to marketing challenges and the production is set to reduce by 10-20% in 2016. The current acreage and export of Soyabeans in Bulgaria is expected to be 25000-28,000 in 2016 -2017 as compared to 36,000 in 2015 while annual production will decline from 40,000 MT in 2015 to about 35,000MT in 2016 -2017.
Rapeseed is widely used for production of oil, biodiesel, as vegetable and animal feed. It is primarily grown in EU countries, Canada, China, and Australia and is a principal source of vegetable oil. The Rapeseed production and export is expected to increase from 442,000 metric tons in 2016 to 440,000 -460,000 metric tons in 2016-2017.
Wheat is a major food product for local and international market. It is primarily used for bread and bakery, produce wheat flour and other confectioneries that have wheat. The total wheat exports as of 2015 were 2.2 million MT. The production is set to increase slightly due to high competition. The average production is expected to be 4100,000 MT in 2016-2017 planted on 1,050, 000 Ha of land
Corn germ is used for making livestock feed, vegetable oil as well as skin and health care products. Corn products exporter in Bulgaria mainly export in Far East Asia and Middle East. The expected production are 2700-3200 MT in about 420 – 500,000 Ha of land.
Barley is widely used for human and animal feed products in many countries. Barley Bulgarian produce is exported to Far East Asia, Europe, USA, Canada and Middle East. The annual production for this crop is set to increase to 620,000-730,000 MT in 2016 with acreage of 155,000-190,000 Ha.
Almonds and walnuts
Bulgaria produces a small amount of Almonds for local and export market. These occupy a small acreage between 500-1600Ha. There has been a slight increase in production from 300MT in 2007 to 1000MT in 2015. Increased consumer attention to healthy foods will drive the demand higher in 2016 and 2017. Bad weather significantly affected crop yield in 2014. For walnuts, the production forecasts are 4650MT for 2016 up from 1216 in the year 2014.