Ongoing drought conditions in the Northern Plains and USDA forecasting lower production estimates for both corn and soybeans have helped push sunflower prices for both nearby and new crop sunflower to new market highs at the region’s crush plants as of Aug. 16.
“Nearby and new crop prices established new market highs this week at the crush plants,” commented John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association, writing in NSA’s weekly newsletter on Aug. 16. “Old crop was unchanged to up $1.25 per hundredweight with new crop gaining 20-25 cents.”
Looking at prices at the region’s crush plants, as of Aug. 16, at the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D., the August delivery price for NuSun sunflower was $29.80 per hundredweight, and for delivery in September the price was $28.60. Enderlin was offering $28.40 cash for new crop NuSun and $27.80 with an Act of God (AOG) clause.
At the Cargill crush plant in West Fargo, N.D., the price for NuSun sunflower was listed at $29.70 per hundredweight for delivery in August and $28.60 for delivery in September. For 2021 new crop NuSun sunflower, Cargill was offering $28.15 cash.
High-oleic sunflower prices were $29.85 for delivery in August and $28.60 for delivery in September at Cargill in West Fargo, and new crop high-oleic was listed at $28.65 cash.
At Enderlin, the high-oleic price was $29.80 for delivery in August and $28.60 for delivery in September. New crop high-oleic cash price was listed at $28.90, and with an AOG clause the price was $28.40.
Elsewhere in North Dakota, new crop high-oleic prices were listed at $28.30 cash at Pingree, and $27.50 cash at Hebron.
USDA released its latest supply and demand report and the first report of Farm Service Agency (FSA) certified acres on Aug. 12, which was a big day for the various commodity markets.
“USDA trimmed new crop soybean production average yield by nearly a bushel to 50 bushels per acre, which dropped projected new crop production to 4.339 billion bushels. Both changes were within analysts’ pre-report estimate range,” Sandbakken noted.
Also in the Aug. 12 report, which was based on a survey of farmers during the first week in August along with satellite imagery, USDA increased old crop soybean ending stocks to 160 million bushels. That, he added, “was on the high end of analyst estimates, based on lower 2020-21 crush and exports.”
USDA left new crop soybean ending stocks unchanged from its July report at 155 million bushels. Worldwide, old crop soybean ending stocks were raised 1.32 million metric tons (MMT) to 92.82 MMT, which was slightly above pre-report estimates by trade analysts.
“For the new growing season, ending stocks were also on the larger side, at 96.15 million metric tons, a 1.66-million increase from July,” he said.
USDA FSA released its initial reported acres figures in mid-August for all crops. For oil-type sunflower, FSA estimated planted acreage at 1.12 million acres with confection acres at 104,500. Both figures were within the average trade estimates.
“FSA will update the acreage report in mid-September. USDA will provide their initial yield and production estimates for the 2021 oil-type and confection sunflower crop in October,” he said.