As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on various commodities and planting progress pushes forward, sunflower prices have seen little if any change as the month of May was coming to a close.

“Nearby old crop NuSun and high-oleic prices were unchanged in the past week,” commented John Sandbakken, National Sunflower Association executive director, in the May 26 NSA newsletter. “NuSun nearby prices are trading $2.15-$2.45, with high-oleic $2-$2.35 per hundredweight (cwt.) higher than a year ago at this same time. New crop prices were down 5 cents to unchanged.”

As of May 26, old crop NuSun prices were listed at $19.05 per hundredweight at the ADM crush plant in Enderlin, N.D., for June delivery. At the Cargill crush plant in West Fargo, N.D., the June delivery price was $19.

New crop 2020 NuSun prices were posted at $17.30 cash at West Fargo, while at Enderlin the 2020 new crop prices were posted at $16.80 cash.

Looking at high-oleic sunflower prices at West Fargo, the June delivery price was $19.30, while at Enderlin, the June delivery price was $19.25.

High-oleic 2020 new crop prices were posted at $17.30 cash at West Fargo, and $17 cash at Enderlin. New crop high-oleic prices at Pingree, N.D., were listed at $16.50 cash, while cash prices at Hebron (ADM) were listed at $15.80 cash.

Sandbakken noted that sunflower planting is underway in all states. Thus far, planting progress is behind last year at this same time and also the five-year average.

Planting in Kansas was 28 percent complete as of May 26. That’s well ahead of the average of 4 percent. It’s a different story in North and South Dakota. In North Dakota, planting progress was 17 percent, which is about the same as last year, but behind the five-year average of 33 percent. South Dakota producers had 8 percent of the sunflower crop planted compared to 13 percent on average. In Minnesota, planting was 47 complete, which was just slightly ahead of last year’s 45 percent pace, but well off the average of 66 percent at this time.

The near-term weather forecast calls for drier and warmer than normal weather conditions for the next two weeks for the Dakotas and Minnesota, and that should allow for good planting progress.

“As the optimal planting window is closing on some crops, there is still time to take advantage of the market opportunities that sunflowers can offer,” Sandbakken said. “Late-season planted crops like sunflower can be planted until late-June and can perform well with the markets rewarding that production.”

He pointed out that final planting dates for crop insurance purposes in North Dakota are June 10 or 15, while in South Dakota the dates are June 15 or 20, and all of Minnesota is June 15.

“The actual final date that sunflowers can be planted is anywhere from 20-25 days after this date depending on the county,” he said.

“With oilseed planting well underway, the markets will begin to trade U.S. weather and crop progress conditions to a greater degree,” he continued.

“Traders will no doubt continue keeping a close eye on weekly export sales reports in the weeks ahead. Coronavirus developments will also be closely monitored as states re-open their economies.”