Sunflowers Wilt: U.S. Production Set to Plummet 18%
Sunflowers Wilt: U.S. Production Set to Plummet 18%

Sunflowers Wilt: U.S. Production Set to Plummet 18%

  • 01-Jun-2023 5:42 PM
  • Journalist: Harold Finch

US: The USDA has reported a significant decrease in Sunflower production for the United States in 2023. Growers intend to plant 1.36 million acres of Sunflower’s marking a 20% decrease from 2022. The initial estimate for 2023's Sunflower production is projected to be at 2.3 billion pounds using a trend yield. This represents an 18% drop from last year's production. The reduction will mainly affect oil-type Sunflower s, with intended acres seeing a 22% decrease to 1.2 million.

Oil-type Sunflower production is predicted to decrease by 22% from last year, resulting in a projected 2 billion pounds production for 2023 based on intended acreage and trend yield. Despite this, seed stocks are ample as of March, providing crushers with some cushion in case the expected 2023 production materializes. Conversely, non-oil Sunflower varieties are expected to see an uptick in production, with a 10% increase in estimated acres at 158,000 compared to the previous year. The anticipated trend yields suggest that the 2023 output of non-oil Sunflower s will create new export sales opportunities.

The current marketing year is expected to see a rise in domestic Sunflower crush, with an anticipated increase to 1.32 billion pounds. Moreover, domestic consumption of Sunflower oil is projected to continue its upward trajectory, reaching 735 million pounds by 2022-23, while exports of Sunflower oil are predicted to be at 100 million pounds. Additionally, meal usage is also expected to grow, expanding to 694 million pounds.

In continuation of the recent demand surge, exports of Sunflower seed including confection in-shell seed and kernel are expected to rise by 10%, from 109 million to 120 million pounds. There is also a slight projected increase in bird food demand from the previous marketing year of 2021-22. While ending seed stocks are expected to surpass the five-year average, they will not reach excessively high levels.

Global Sunflower production for 2023-24 remains uncertain and subject to change, with much of it hinging on what gets planted in Ukraine this year. The ongoing war has led to significant uncertainty around seed availability, not just for this year but also potentially for the following year, 2024.

Ukraine has long been a significant global producer and exporter of Sunflower oil, responsible for 50% of the trade. The recent events in Ukraine have further tightened the vegetable oil market, with the situation between Ukraine and Russia being closely monitored due to its potential impact on agricultural supply-and-demand conditions not only within the region but globally as well.

With South American oilseed harvest now completed, market focus will shift to U.S. crop conditions and production prospects in the coming months. Weather and demand news will play crucial roles in determining market factors across the Sunflower growing region.

New-crop Sunflower seed prices are expected to maintain their strength in the upcoming months, barring any potential downward pressure from declining Soybean prices in the first part of the marketing year. However, this outlook could significantly shift in the following months depending on factors such as the number of acres planted, and yields achieved at harvest.

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