If the new year is measured in rising commodity prices, then 2021 is off to a great start as sunflower, as well as many other grain commodities, are enjoying prices they haven’t seen in months or even years.
“The rally in sunflower prices continues at the crush plants,” commented John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, writing in NSA’s weekly newsletter on Jan.19. “Nearby NuSun prices were up 10-50 cents with high-oleic up 15-50 cents. 2021 new crop added another 5-30 cents.”
Looking at prices at the region’s crush plants, as of Jan.19, NuSun sunflower was listed at $20 per hundredweight for delivery in February at Cargill in West Fargo, N.D. The price at ADM in Enderlin, N.D., was $19.55 per hundredweight for delivery in February.
2021 new crop NuSun prices remained steady at $20.20 cash and $19.90 with an Act of God (AOG) clause at West Fargo, while new crop prices were $20.10 cash and $19.60 with an AOG at Enderlin.
High-oleic sunflower prices were $20 for February delivery at West Fargo, while the price at Enderlin was $19.55 for delivery in February.
High-oleic 2021 new crop prices at West Fargo were posted at $20.40 cash and $20.10 with an AOG, while the crush plant in Enderlin posted prices of $20.35 cash and $19.85 with an AOG.
Meanwhile, other commodities such as soybeans, corn and wheat were also enjoying high prices with soybean cash prices around the region at over $13, corn pushing close to $5 and spring wheat averaging around $6.
The market was also taking cues from a number of reports released by USDA on Jan. 12, including its latest estimate for the 2020 U.S. sunflower crop. USDA pegged production at 2.98 billion pounds, an increase of 52 percent over 2019. The average sunflower yield per acre in the U.S. was 1,790 pounds, which was an increase of 230 pounds from 2019 and set a record high average yield for the U.S.
USDA also put planted area of sunflower at 1.72 million acres, a 27 percent above the previous year. And the area harvested increased 1.67 million acres, a 33 percent increase from 2019.
U.S sunflower producers also harvested 2.62 billion pounds of oil-type sunflower varieties in 2020, according to the USD report. That’s an increase of 48 percent from the previous year.
“Compared with last year, harvested acres were up 28 percent and the average yield increased by 241 pounds, setting a record high average yield of 1,802 pounds per acre,” Sandbakken noted.
Also, production of confection sunflower varieties was estimated at 365 million pounds, according to the report. That’s an increase of 92 percent from 2019. Area harvested in 2020 was pegged at 213,200 acres, up 74 percent from the year before. In 2020 the average yield increased by 157 pounds from 2019 to 1,712 pounds per acre.
Lastly, in its grain stocks report, USDA lowered old crop oil-type sunflower stocks in all positions by 18.4 million pounds, a decrease of 8 percent from its September grain stocks report. USDA pegged old crop non-oil sunflower stocks slightly lower by 41,000 pounds.