Sunflower

The USDA Acreage and Grain Stocks reports released the end of June caused a little uncertainty in the corn and soybean markets, but did little to impact the sunflower market because the numbers were in line with trade expectations or just slightly below.

The surprises came in corn and soybeans where the Grain Stocks report provided some support for both corn and soybeans, while the Acreage report indicated higher than expected corn acres and lower than expected soybean acres.

“The acreage numbers bring about a substantial amount of uncertainty in the corn and soybean markets,” said John Sandbakken, National Sunflower Association executive director, writing in the July 8 NSA weekly newsletter.

“USDA plans to re-survey 14 Midwestern states, including each of the key corn and soybean production states. The results will be released on Aug. 12, so it appears the market uncertainty is set to stay in place throughout most of this summer until more is known,” he added.

Area planted to sunflower in 2019 totals 1.38 million acres, up 6 percent from 2018 and up just over 2 percent from the 1.19 million acres in the March intentions report. Harvested area is expected to increase 8 percent from last year to 1.32 million acres, Sandbakken noted, adding that planted area of oil type varieties, at 1.23 million acres, is up 5 percent from 2018. Also, harvested area is also expected to increase 7 percent from last year to 1.18 million acres.

“These figures were below industry expectations,” he said.

For non-oil varieties, planted acreage, estimated at 155,000, is up 13 percent from 2018. Harvested area is expected to increase 16 percent from last year to 143,500 acres.

“The non-oil figures were in line with trade expectations,” he noted. “Total planted sunflower acres were 2 percent higher than the March planting intentions report.”

Attention in the sunflower market, as well as other commodities, will now turn to crop conditions and weather. 

North Dakota's sunflower crop is 100 percent planted, and two percent of the crop is already blooming. Eighty-one percent of the North Dakota sunflower crop is reported in good-to-excellent condition with 17 percent rated fair. Minnesota’s sunflower crop is rated 82 percent in good-to-excellent condition with 17 percent fair.

Meanwhile, planting is wrapping up in other reporting states. South Dakota is nearly complete at 98 percent which is on par with the 5-year average.

“Weather forecasts and crop condition ratings will be the market movers in the week ahead,” Sandbakken said.

Looking at local prices, as of July 8 NuSun prices at the Cargill crush plant in Fargo, N.D., were $17.50 for July delivery and $17.45 for delivery in August. At the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D., July and August delivery prices were $17.50

New crop NuSun prices at Fargo were $16.55 cash and $16.15 with an Act of God (AOG) clause. At Enderlin new crop prices were $16.85 cash and $16.35 with an AOG.

High oleic sunflower prices for July delivery at Fargo were $17.80, and $17.75 for delivery in August. At Enderlin, high oleic prices were $17.80 for delivery in July and August.

High oleic new crop prices for 2019 at Fargo were $16.85 cash and $16.35 with an AOG. At Enderlin new crop high oleic cash prices were $17.05 and AOG contracts were $16.55.

At other locations in North Dakota new crop high oleic cash prices were $16.25 at Pingree and $15.55 at Hebron.