Sunflower markets end last week mixed

Sunflower prices at the crush plants ended last week mixed at down 5 to up 5 cents. The birdfood market remains rather quiet. The markets were all about the dollar last week as the U.S. dollar continued its decline to the lowest value in more than three years. Historically a declining dollar generally boosts demand for dollar-denominated products. This has prompted speculation that demand for U.S. exports will improve. U.S. officials at the international gathering in Davos, Switzerland appeared to back a weaker greenback as a way of improving the U.S. trade deficit. Export news for traders has been thin the past few weeks. Some worry that overseas buyers are starting to shift seasonally to South American supplies. Brazil’s soybean crop looks very good at this point, while Argentina’s soybean losses from dry weather conditions are still being assessed by the trade. Some traders feel large global soybean supply, slower demand for products, normal South America production and U.S. farmers adding soybean acres in 2018 could weigh on 2018 new crop oilseed prices. New crop sunflower prices are out at the crush plants with cash and Act of God contracts available. Something else to consider is the oil premiums that are offered at the crush plants on oil content above 40% at a rate of 2% price premium for each 1% of oil above 40%.