Sunflower markets

Sunflowers (Photo courtesy of Amberlyn Brown.)

Sunflower prices at the crush plants are feeling the spillover effect from weakness in global sunflower seed and oil values. Vegetable oil prices have trended downward as the result of ample supplies, especially sunflower oil on the global market. Strong selling pressure from Black Sea region sunflower oil has been the major bearish factor in the vegetable oil market. Key buyers such as China and India are sitting on large oil inventories, and this is adding further pressure to oil values.

Last week U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest grain stocks report. USDA pegged old crop sunflower stocks in all positions on Sept. 1, 2023, at 367 million pounds, up 25% from a year ago. All stocks stored on farms totaled 142.6 million pounds and off-farm stocks totaled 224.6 million pounds.

Stocks of oil type sunflower seed are 340 million pounds; of this total, 137 million pounds are on-farm stocks, and 203.2 million pounds are off-farm stocks. Non-oil sunflower stocks totaled 27 million pounds, with 5.6 million pounds stored on the farm and 21.4 million pounds stored off the farm. Stocks of oil type sunflower seed were 53% higher than last year. Non-oil stocks were down 62% from last year. Both figures were within average industry estimates.

On Oct. 12, USDA will give its first estimate of 2023 United States harvested sunflower acres and total seed production