Although some parts of the region received some much needed rain in late August, it has only slowed the impact of the ongoing drought situation, which has pushed sunflower crop development along faster than normal. But the situation also has been very good for sunflower prices.
“(It was) another good week for sunflower prices as the nearby price moved close to $32 at North Dakota crush plants and 2022 new crop contracts continue to roll out earlier than normal,” noted John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, writing in the Aug. 30 NSA newsletter. “Nearby prices were up 75 cents to $1.60 per hundredweight with the October contract gaining 75 cents to $1.80 in the past week.
“The sunflower crop in the Dakotas and Minnesota continues to progress at a faster pace than average due to ongoing drought conditions,” he said. “Some of the crop could be desiccated in early September for harvest.”
As a result of the difficult growing season, a large portion of this year’s crop is being rated by USDA in poor-to-very poor condition, with most of it in only fair condition.
As of Aug. 30, NuSun prices were listed at $31.70 per hundredweight for delivery in September at both the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D., and the Cargill crush plant in West Fargo, N.D. That’s over $3 higher than the $28.20 delivery price offered in July.
October 2021 NuSun sunflower prices at the ADM plant in Enderlin were listed at $30.60 cash and $30.10 with an Act of God (AOG) clause. Cargill in West Fargo listed the October 2021 cash price at $30.60.
“The Cargill West Fargo crush plant is offering 2022 new crop cash and Act of God (AOG) contracts. NuSun cash is $26.80 and $26.30 (with an) AOG,” he said.
Also as of Aug. 30, prices for high-oleic sunflower were $31.70 per hundredweight for delivery in September at both Enderlin and West Fargo. That’s also more than $3 higher than in July.
October 2021 prices for high-oleic sunflower at Enderlin were listed at $31.10 cash and $30.60 with an AOG. At West Fargo, October high-oleic prices were also listed at $31.10 cash. Elsewhere in North Dakota, the October high-oleic price was $30.50 cash at Pingree and $29.70 cash at Hebron.
Sandbakken noted that new crop high-oleic prices were posted at $27.20 cash and $26.70 AOG.
He also pointed out that sunflower producers should also consider the oil premiums that crush plants pay on sunflower, which is the only oilseed that pays premiums for oil content above 40 percent.
He explained that crush plants offer oil premiums on oil content above 40 percent at a rate of 2 percent price premium for each 1 percent of oil above 40 percent.
“This pushes a contract with 45 percent oil content gross return 10 percent higher per hundredweight,” he said. “The AOG $26.30 contract increases to $29.00, and the cash $27.20 contract moves up to $30.”
Besides rising prices at the crush plants, Sandbakken noted that nearby bird food bids are trading mostly around $30 in South Dakota, while in North Dakota bids are trading for as much as $29-$30.85 in some locations.