Sunflower markets take slight dip

Old and new crop prices were unchanged at the crush plants this past week. The crop insurance price discovery process continues for 2024 crop insurance price elections.

Oil type sunflowers are $23.80, and confections are $28.80 per hundredweight both are down 20 cents from the previous week. To follow sunflower price election trends, watch the 2024 Chicago Board of Trade December soyoil contract through Feb. 29.

Price elections soon

Final price elections will be announced in early March. Traders are anxiously awaiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s release of its Prospective Plantings Report on March 28.

Until the report is out South American weather and crop production estimates along with the acreage debate should dominate the direction the market takes. USDA updated its statistical guesses at its recent Agricultural Outlook Forum. USDA pegged soybean acres at 87.5 million acres, which would be 3.9 million more acres than 2023.

Lower corn acres forecast

USDA expects lower corn acres for the 2024-25 crop year with 91 million acres planted which is 3.6 million acres less than 2023. Total wheat planted acres are projected at 47 million acres, down nearly 2.6 million acres from the 2023-24 crop.

Most market watchers expect sunflower acres to decrease in 2024 given the carryover of large seed stocks from the past two years. The market needs time to use up the ample seed supply and this is being reflected in the price spread between nearby and deferred contracts.

The first estimate of 2024 sunflower acres will be in the USDA March Planting Intentions report.