If one is simply looking at various commodity prices in recent weeks, then 2021 is getting off to a positive start for producers. It’s true for corn, soybeans, spring wheat, durum and cotton among others and it’s also true for sunflowers.
Commenting in the Feb. 16 National Sunflower Association newsletter, John Sandbakken, NSA executive director, noted that prices are in the $19-$20 range and have been steady there.
“Old crop NuSun and high-oleic prices were unchanged to up 10 cents. New crop NuSun and high-oleic prices were up 15-20 cents,” he said.
Looking at regional prices at the crush plants, as of Feb. 16, NuSun sunflower was listed at $20 per hundredweight at Cargill in West Fargo, N.D., for delivery in February. That was 20 cents higher than the week before. At ADM in Enderlin, N.D., the price was 10 cents higher at $19.60 for delivery in February. The March delivery price at both crush plants was $20.05, which was 20 cents higher than the week prior.
Sandbakken also noted that 2021 new crop NuSun sunflower prices at West Fargo were listed at $20.35 cash and $20.05 with an Act of God (AOG) clause. NuSun new crop prices at Enderlin were listed at $20.45 cash and $19.95 with an AOG clause.
Looking at high-oleic sunflower prices, on Feb. 16, the price at West Fargo was posted at $20.20 per hundredweight for delivery in February and $20.25 for delivery. Both listings were 20 cents more than the week before. At Enderlin, high-oleic prices were posted at $19.70 for delivery in February, a 10 cent increase from the week prior. For March delivery of high-oleic sunflower at Enderlin, the price was listed at $20.15, an increase of 20 cents from the week prior.
Also, new crop 2021 high-oleic prices at Cargill in West Fargo were listed at $20.60 cash and $20.30 with an AOG clause. At ADM in Enderlin, the new crop high-oleic price was posted at $20.70 cash and $20.20 with an AOG. Elsewhere in North Dakota, Pingree was offering $19.10 for high-oleic sunflower delivered in February. New crop prices at Pingree were posted at $20.10, while at Hebron the new crop high-oleic price was listed at $19.30. Both prices represented a 20 cent increase from the week before.
Sandbakken also pointed out that the crop insurance price discovery process continues for 2021 crop insurance price elections.
“Oil type sunflowers are at $21.40 and confections are $26.50 per hundredweight,” he said. “This represents an increase of 20 cents per hundredweight from last week. Last year at this same time, oil type sunflowers were at $17.10 and confections were $22.90 per hundredweight.”
Producers can follow sunflower price election trends by watching the 2021 Chicago Board of Trade December soy oil contract through Feb. 28. Final price elections will be announced in early March.
In the February supply and demand and WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) reports from USDA, the U.S. corn and soybean ending stocks are not tightening as much as expected, Sandbakken noted.
“USDA reported bigger corn and soybean carryout estimates than trade estimates, disappointing market analysts,” he said.
Also in the report, USDA’s estimate for the 2020-21 Brazil soybean crop at 133.0 million metric tons (MMT). That compares to the trade's expectation of 133.0 MMT and the USDA's January estimate of 132 MMT.
“If realized, this would represent an additional 7 million metric tons of Brazilian beans in comparison to last year’s production,” Sandbakken noted, adding that in Argentina the soybean production estimate was left unchanged at 47.5 MMT.
“With the release of the latest USDA production forecasts, traders will focus on the U.S. export sales pace, South American weather, yield reports, and harvest progress,” he said.