Sunflower

The latest supply and demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was pretty much what commodity markets, including soybean, corn and sunflower, expected.

“Aug. 12 was a huge day for commodity markets as USDA released its latest supply and demand report and first report of FSA (Farm Service Agency) certified acres,” commented John Sandbakken, National Sunflower Association executive director, in the Aug. 17 NSA newsletter. “Market analysts were expecting the August supply and demand report to show increased production for soybean and corn and USDA did not disappoint the trade.”

According to USDA’s report, soybean production came in at 4.425 billion bushels (BB), just 3 million bushels (MB) under the record crop of 2018-19. USDA increased soybean yield to 53.3 bushels per acre, up from 47.4 bushels per acre last year and above trade expectations.

“If realized, that would be a record high soybean yield, above the previous record of 52 bushels per acre in the 2016-17 season,” Sandbakken said.

“The bearish soybean news continued with U.S. new crop ending stocks, which were bumped up to 610 MB, up from USDA's estimate of 425 MB in July,” he added.

Looking at corn, USDA came in with a production estimate of 15.27 BB for the 2020 U.S. corn crop versus the trade’s expectation of 15.17 BB. USDA also bumped projected corn yield, estimating the U.S. average corn yield at 181.3 bushels per acre. That compares to the average trade estimate of 180.5 bushels per acre.

Besides the supply and demand report, USDA’s Farm Service Agency released its initial reported acres figures for all crops. According to the report, oil-type sunflower planted acreage was pegged at 1.21 million acres with confection acres at 163,500. Sandbakken noted the figures were within the average trade estimates and that FSA will update the acreage report in mid-September. USDA will provide their initial yield and production estimates for the 2020 oil-type and confection sunflower crop in October.

As for the 2020 sunflower crop condition, sunflower bloom is well ahead of last year in North Dakota, where more than half the crop – 54 percent – was reported to be blooming the week ending Aug. 14. That compares to 31 percent blooming at this time last year.

In North Dakota, 76 percent of this year’s sunflower crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, with 19 percent rated fair and 5 percent rated poor-to-very poor. It was a similar situation in Minnesota where 75 percent of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, 19 percent fair and 6 percent poor-to-very poor.

As of Aug. 17, old crop NuSun prices were listed at $16.60 per hundredweight for delivery in August at both the Cargill crush plant in West Fargo, N.D., and at the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D. The price was also $16.60 per cwt. for September delivery at both locations. The October 2020 price was also $16.60 at both locations.

Looking at high-oleic sunflower prices at West Fargo and Enderlin, the August, September and October price listings were all $16.80 per cwt.

October high-oleic prices at Pingree, N.D., were listed at $16.30, while prices at Hebron, N.D., were listed at $15.60.