Sunflower exports could be influenced by South America supply

Traders remained focused on export news and weather in South America. Exports for U.S. soybeans remain disappointing and continue to lag behind last year and USDA projections. Some feel USDA could raise U.S. 2017/18 soybean carryout on their Feb. 8 report but they may wait to see final South America supply before lowering final U.S. exports. If this is realized it could weigh on new crop prices. Talk of a chance of rain across parts of Argentina and drier northern Brazil weather has also had an influence on price direction. Weak palm oil values have pressured CBoT soyoil prices keeping a lid on sunflower prices at the crush plants. Nearby prices ended the week mixed at down 15 cents to unchanged. Birdfood market remains rather quiet and prices were unchanged as well. On Feb. 1, the USDA Risk Management Agency began the discovery process in determining 2018 crop insurance price elections for sunflower. Producers have the option of choosing Yield Protection, Revenue Protection and Revenue Protection with the Harvest Price Exclusion. All three policies have the same price election. The current price election for oils is $17.70 with confection at $23.90. To follow the direction for sunflower price elections, watch the 2018 CBoT December soyoil contract during the month of February. Final price elections will be announced in early March. U.S. export demand and South American weather will be the main market movers in the near term.