Sunflower markets

Sunflowers (Photo: Trish Brown - Walsh, Colorado)

Sunflower prices were mixed at the crush plants a week ago. Nearby prices were unchanged to down $1.25 per hundredweight. 2024 new crop high oleic contracts were unchanged to up 50 cents.

Sunflower is the only oilseed that pays premiums for oil content above 40%. Considering oil premiums that are offered at the crush plants on oil content above 40% at a rate of 2% price premium for each 1% of oil above 40%; this pushes a contract with 45% oil content gross return 10% higher per hundredweight. The AOG $20 contract increases to $22.

On Jan. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue an important monthly USDA report which will include updated U.S. and World Supply and Demand tables, U.S. winter wheat plantings, and quarterly stocks. In the report USDA will release its latest estimate of 2023-24 U.S. and global sunflower production.

In December, USDA estimated global sunflower seed production at 56.8 million metric tons, up eight percent from 2022-23. Higher production in Ukraine and Russia is the leading factor for the increase. Ukrainian and Russian sunflower production estimates remain murky due to the ongoing war, but production is anticipated to be around eight percent higher than 2022. The European Union, Argentina, Turkey, and U.S. are expected to have decreased production versus last year. On the Chicago Board of Trade, trading has been driven by positioning ahead of this week’s USDA reports, stronger dollar, demand news and El Nino weather conditions in South America.