Romanian Corona agri news - update week 28
Contents: Netherlands finally on Romania’s green list regarding travelling. Restaurants remain closed. Retail sales recovering, however not at pre-crisis level. EC expects Romania’s economy to fall less than most EU economies. Lactalis restructures production in Romania.
Romania puts the Netherlands on the “green list”
This week the Romanian authorities have updated the "green list" of countries for which travel restrictions due to COVID-19 do not apply anymore, adding 22 more countries to the list, including the Netherlands. Finally, travellers from the Netherlands to Romania shall no longer be required to go into quarantine or home isolation for 14 days.
Also flights to and from the countries on the "green list" are resumed as of July 7.
At present, the list of member countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area for which the isolation/quarantine measures are no longer recommended includes 32 states. The full list is available on www.cnscbt.ro/index.php/liste-zone-afectate-covid-19/1855-lista-statelor-exceptate-de-la-masura-de-carantina-6-07-2020.
Meanwhile, the number of states limiting Romanian citizens' access to their territory has increased, as the number of coronavirus cases reported in Romania remained high. There are at least ten countries that either do not receive Romanian travellers at all, keeping their borders closed for the time being, or they put some conditions. Some require Romanians to stay in quarantine or isolation for 14 days.
Restaurants in Romania remain closed as Govt. defers new relaxation measures
Further relaxation measures initially expected in the beginning of this month continue to be postponed.
The opening of indoor restaurants is the most acute demand expressed by the business representatives.
More relaxation measures can be considered only if the sanitary conditions improve. When asked about the next stage of relaxation and the expected opening of restaurants, PM Ludovic Orban said that "this could be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic's evolution."
Romania’s retail sales in May still 9.4% below pre-crisis level despite bounce back
The retail sales volume index, seasonally and workday adjusted, bounced back by 20% in May compared to April after the deep 22% plunge seen in April when the lockdown pushed downards the non-essential sales and particularly the fuels sales.
Compared to February, before the coronavirus outbreak, the index lags by 9.4%. In annual terms, the retail sales in May were 5.4% lower than in the same month last year.
The food sales, less volatile by their nature, are down only 6.0% compared to the pre-crisis level and recorded positive annual growth in May: +5.2% year-on-year. The non-food sales were more vulnerable to the lockdown and the consumer confidence shock: they lag by 7.7% behind the pre-crisis level and are 5.3% down year-on-year.
EC expects Romania’s economy to fall less than most EU economies this year
Romania’s gross domestic product (GDP) is set to contract by 6% this year and then rebound by 4% in 2021, according to the European Commission’s summer forecast released recently.
Thus, the EC expects Romania’s economy to be slightly more resilient than the majority of EU economies to the COVID-19 crisis. Countries in the Euro area are expected to record an average GDP drop of 8.7% this year and rebound by 6.1% next year, with double-digit declines expected for Italy (-11.2%), Spain (-10.9%) and France (-10.6%). Germany’s economy is expected to go down by 6.3% this year.
“The Romanian economy showed signs of resilience in the first quarter of the year. Real GDP increased by 2.4% year-on-year (0.3% quarter-on-quarter), supported mainly by private consumption and the build-up of inventories. Gross fixed capital formation continued to grow, albeit at a significantly slower pace than in 2019 as a whole. Net exports weighed down on growth as exports fell due to the drop in external demand,” reads the EC report on Romania.
Lactalis closes 2 dairy plants but continues production in Romania
Lactalis Group has decided to close its Floreni and Vatra Dornei factories, included in the portfolio of the company Dorna Lactate, but will continue to produce LaDorna-branded dairy products (brand launched in 1998) at its two other Romanian factories, namely, the Albalact plant in Oiejdea (Alba County) and the Covalact plant in Sfantu Gheorghe (Covasna County).
The company Dorna Lactate, acquired by Lactalis in 2008, will continue to operate. The whole process will be completed at the end of August 2020, under a strict compliance with all valid legal regulations.
Employees impacted by the collective layoff measure applied at the Floreni and Vatra Dornei factories will receive support to find new jobs, either within other companies part of Lactalis Group in Romania, or within other companies. Moreover, employees will get severance pay, training to seek new jobs and the company will also recommend them to the recruitment companies with which they work.
The company also said it keeps the contracts concluded with Romanian partner farmers and the milk collected will be directed to the other factories.