Sunflower markets

Sunflowers (Photo courtesy of Amberlyn Brown.)

Nearby high oleic prices were mixed last week at the crush plants at down 35 cents to unchanged with NuSun prices unchanged. Last week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates saw little change, as expected. Many traders thought USDA kicked the can down the road as no changes were made to 2023 soybean yield or acreage estimates.

On the soybean demand side, 2023-24 crush, exports, seed use and ending stocks were left unchanged from last month as well. Surveying is currently underway for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s annual crop production report. Yield and acreage adjustments will likely be included in the January 2024 annual crop production report release.

Updates from USDA’s October estimates on sunflower yield, acreage and production will be in the January report as well. On the Chicago Board of Trade, traders are focused on crop developments in South America. USDA anticipates Brazil to produce 161 million metric tons, down slightly from 163 MMT last month. Argentina is expected to produce 48 MMT, reflecting no change from the month before.

Market analysts are closely watching El Nino weather conditions and the potential they may have on South American oilseed production. While most production areas have some damage risk, there is still some upside at the moment. Until more is known and or the crop is made market volatility will continue with each weather forecast in the weeks ahead.