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Romanian Corn Harvest Increases 26% to Highest in Seven Years

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Romania’s corn harvest rose 26 percent in 2011, producing the biggest crop in seven years, according to a document published on the Agriculture Ministry’s website.

Farmers reaped 11.4 million metric tons of the grain from 6.2 million acres, the ministry said. The crop was the biggest since the 14.6 million tons gathered in 2004, the figures show.

“Romania has the potential to export about 10 million tons of corn and wheat, following the very good crop,” Agriculture Minister Valeriu Tabara said in a phone interview today. “The country has already exported about 2 million tons of grains so far.”

The Romanian farmers are seeking to take advantage of higher international grain prices and boost exports as they need money to invest in outdated machines, technology and buy fertilizers.

Romania’s wheat harvest increased 24 percent last year to about 7.2 million metric tons, the biggest crop in six years, the ministry’s data show.

South Africa already said today it’s importing yellow corn from Romania with two ships en-route to the Western Cape province, Reuters reported, citing Jannie de Villiers, the chief executive officer of Grain SA, a farmers’ group.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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