Sunflower markets

Sunflower prices are stronger than normal for this time of the year at the crush plants as tight beginning seed stocks and strong oil demand has crush plants looking for seed supplies.  In the past week nearby prices are up 10 to 20 cents per hundredweight with 2021 new crop unchanged to up $0.10. Birdfood prices continue in a holding pattern but have seen some upward movement of $0.50 per hundredweight in some locations. On the Chicago Board of Trade, China is causing concern among traders as it has not made any large soybean purchases since Nov. 9. Smaller purchases have been made but large purchases are lacking. This has led to falling prices speculative investors who were long the market, or had bet on higher prices, liquidate their positions, and sell their contracts. There continue to be reports of drought-related reductions in sunflower production in the Black Sea region and a planted area reduction for Argentina according to Oil World. Given the location of the crop losses, this bears watching as international trade would assume much of the impact and could open some market opportunities. Overall price direction will be determined by export demand news and South American oilseed production prospects in the near term. USDA will release its supply and demand report this week. Traders are anticipating that any significant changes to production, stocks and usage will come in the January report.