Old crop sunflower prices continue to command more than $31 per hundredweight and crush plants are offering new crop cash and Act of God (AOG) contracts in the $26-$28 range.
“Nearby prices at the crush plants were unchanged to up 50 cents this week,” commented John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, writing in NSA’s weekly newsletter on Sept. 27.
Looking at prices at the region’s crush plants, as of Sept. 27, the price for NuSun sunflower at the Cargill crush plant in West Fargo, N.D., was listed at $31.35 per hundredweight for delivery in October. At the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D., the October delivery price for NuSun sunflower was $30.70 per cwt.
High-oleic sunflower prices were $31.35 for delivery in October at Cargill in West Fargo. At ADM in Enderlin, the high-oleic price was $31.20 for delivery in October.
“Crush plants are offering 2022 new crop cash and AOG,” Sandbakken said. “NuSun cash is $26.80-$27 and $26.30-$26.50 AOG. High-oleics are $27.30-$27.25 cash and $26.80-$26.75 AOG.”
Sandbakken also pointed out something else for producers to consider is the oil premiums that crush plants pay on sunflower with oil content above 40 percent. Oil premiums are offered at the crush plants on oil content above 40 percent at a rate of 2 percent price premium for each 1 percent of oil above 40 percent.
“This,” he explained, “pushes a contract with 45 percent oil content gross return 10 percent higher per hundredweight. The AOG $26.30 contract increases to $29, and the cash $27.25 contract moves up to $30.”
He also noted that bird food prices remain within range of market highs in the Dakotas.
“Bird food prices moved up 30 cents to a $1 per hundredweight higher in South Dakota this week and is trading mostly around $28.70-$32.50,” he said, adding that bird food prices in North Dakota are trading for as much as $33 in some locations.
Looking ahead, with harvest just getting underway in North Dakota and Minnesota, Sandbakken noted that above normal temperatures and drier than normal moisture conditions are forecast for the early part of October.
“This bodes well for crop dry down and an earlier than normal start to harvest,” he said. “The sunflower crop continues to mature at a rapid rate.”
Although harvest has started in North Dakota and Minnesota, it was still just days away in some South Dakota locations at the time of this report. Meanwhile, in Texas, the sunflower harvest was moving along at a pace ahead of the five-year average.
The USDA Grain Stocks report was to be released the last week of September. Traders were expecting sunflower stocks to be up from a year ago, but below the five-year average.
“USDA will give its first estimate of 2021 sunflower production in October,” he said.