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Sunflower producers making good harvest progress


Unusually warm, dry weather this fall has allowed the region’s sunflower producers to make a good deal of headway with this year’s harvest.

“Very favorable weather conditions in the past week allowed sunflower producers to make good harvest progress,” commented John Sandbakken, executive director of the National Sunflower Association (NSA), writing in the Nov. 7 NSA newsletter. “Harvest advanced 24 percent to 61 percent complete for the week ending Oct. 28.”

In the week ending Nov. 4, producers were able to harvest an additional 370,575 acres. That puts total harvested acres for the 2022 crop thus far at about 946,470 acres.

“Harvest progress is 16 percent ahead of the five-year average. Last year at this same time, about 45 percent of sunflower acres were harvested,” Sandbakken noted.

But while U.S. sunflower producers are making good headway, total world sunflower production is forecast to decline this year by 4.0 million metric tons (MMT), that according to Oil World. That would put total global sunflower production at 54.0 MT.

“Decreased production in the European Union and Ukraine is mostly responsible for the decrease,” he said. “The U.S., Russia, Argentina and Turkey are expected to have increased production. If realized, the decline in production will result in a seed stocks-to-use ratio of 10.5 percent, a decrease of 22 percent from last year.”

Oil World is also projecting that global sunflower oil exports to grow slightly by 0.8 MMT from the last market year. That would push total world sunflower oil exports to 12.3 MMT. As one might expect with the war in Ukraine continuing, sun oil exports from Ukraine are declining to a multi-year low of 4.3 MMT.

“In the near-term, U.S. harvest progress, yield, and crop quality will continue to be key to prices going forward,” Sandbakken said. “Commodity traders will also be closely monitoring developments with the Black Sea Grain Initiative.”

Recently, Russia had backed out of the agreement, but then later said it would re-enter the agreement. The market had reactions to each announcement.

Sandbakken noted that nearby NuSun and high-oleic prices at the region’s crush plants were down 35 cents to unchanged for the week ending Nov. 4, while 2023 new crop was unchanged.

As of Nov. 7, NuSun cash was listed at $25.85 at ADM in Enderlin, N.D., for delivery in November and December. NuSun cash prices at Cargill in West Fargo, N.D., were posted at $25.75 for delivery in November and December. Both processing plants offered a new crop cash contract at $26.25. ADM in Enderlin also posted a new crop contract with an AOG (Act of God) clause at $25.75.

Nearby high-oleic sunflowers at West Fargo were listed at $27 for delivery in November and December while Enderlin posted a price of $26.85, also for delivery in November/December. West Fargo offered a new crop cash contract of $27.50 while Enderlin’s new crop cash contract was listed at $27.25. Both plants offered an AOG contract of $26.75.

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