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Sunflower prices change only slightly


Prices for both old and new crop NuSun and high-oleic sunflowers were unchanged to up slightly, as of Feb. 14, as the market followed the latest reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and also the ongoing tension between Ukraine and Russia.

“Old crop NuSun and high-oleic prices were unchanged to up 20 cents this week. New crop prices were unchanged to up 30 cents,” commented John Sandbakken, National Sunflower Association executive director, in the Feb. 14 NSA newsletter.

“The U.S. corn and soybean ending stocks are not tightening as much as expected, according to the latest USDA Supply & Demand and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate reports,” he said. “USDA reported bigger corn and soybean carryout estimates than trade estimates, disappointing market analysts.”

In the February WASDE report, Brazil’s soybean output for 2021-22 was estimated at 134.0 million metric tons (MMT) by USDA. That compares to the trade's expectation of 133.0 MMT and USDA's January estimate of 139 MMT.

USDA estimated Argentina’s soybean output at 45.0 MMT. That compares to the trade's expectation of 44.0 MMT and the USDA's previous estimate of 46.5 MMT in January.

Looking at local prices, at the regional crush plants, as of Feb. 14, NuSun sunflower was listed at $32.20 per hundredweight (cwt.) at the ADM plant in Enderlin, N.D., for delivery in February, and $32.35 for delivery in March. At the Cargill plant in West Fargo, N.D., the February delivery price for NuSun sunflower was $30 and the March delivery price was $31.

High-oleic sunflower prices at Cargill in West Fargo were $33.15 for February delivery and $33 for delivery in March. At ADM in Enderlin, the price of high-oleic sunflower for February delivery was $32.70, while the March delivery price was $32.85.

Sandbakken also noted that 2022 new crop prices at the crush plants continued to stay in the mid-$20 range. At ADM Enderlin, as of Feb. 14, the price was $26.90 cash and $26.20 with an AOG for 2022 new crop NuSun sunflower, while at Cargill West Fargo the price was $26.70 cash and $26.20 with an AOG.

High-oleic 2022 new crop prices were $27.70 cash and $27.20 with an AOG at West Fargo, and $27.15 cash and $26.45 with an AOG at Enderlin. Elsewhere in North Dakota, the Pingree plant was offering 26.60 for 2022 new crop high-oleic sunflower and Hebron was offering $26.15 per cwt.

Sandbakken also pointed out that the crop insurance price discovery process continues for 2022 crop insurance price elections.

“Oil type sunflowers are at $31.90 and confections are $39.90 per hundredweight,” he said. “This represents a decrease of 20 cents per hundredweight from last week. Last year at this same time, oil type sunflowers were at $21.40 and confections were $26.50 per hundredweight.”

Producers can follow sunflower price election trends by watching the 2022 Chicago Board of Trade December soy oil contract through Feb. 28. Final price elections will be announced in early March.

“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. “Ongoing tension with the Russia and Ukraine situation will also remain top of mind, as well.”

Beyond that, producers will be considering their 2022 planting decisions. Prices for many commodities are currently at very high levels and will be competing for acres this year.

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