Sunflower markets

Sunflowers (Photo courtesy of Amberlyn Brown.)

This week sunflower prices continued to move lower as the market continues its transition toward the 2023-24 market year.

Moving forward, it may be hard to gather significant forward momentum as carryover oil-type seed stocks are projected to be above the five-year average as well as seasonal harvest pressure being just around the corner.

The 2023 U.S. sunflower crop continues to progress at a faster pace after a slow start this spring. Very warm to hot temperatures along with drier soil conditions are pushing the crop toward maturity in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Some of the crop could be desiccated in early September for harvest. Most of the crops in these states are considered in good to excellent condition. This should mean that yields will be above trend assuming normal weather through the rest of this fall and the lack of an early freeze.

Above normal rainfall this season has most of the sunflower crop in Colorado rated in good to excellent condition as well. This is a much-welcomed change after many drought years impacting yield.

Mid-August through September is the critical time frame for sunflowers. Buyers will be anxiously watching crop production prospects before making longer term purchases. In October, USDA will provide its first estimate for oil and non-oil sunflower production. This report and demand news will set the tone for new crop sunflower price direction in the near term.