Market info - Sunflower seeds
Suppliers in Ukraine are desperately trying to keep agri-food production and the supply chain up and running in areas less affected by military operations as APK-Inform reports. China is, meanwhile, eager to fill the gap in Europe. Coceral anticipates a decline in EU production.
In an interview with news agency RBC Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged that sowing has to be stepped up an continue throughout the country as far as possible because people need food to live on. Attention is mainly on buckwheat and peas, which will be harvested in summer and help to provide the population with essential food. Military operations have, however, put a potential stop to sunflower seed sowing in at least nine administrative districts as local media report. Even if a ceasefire should be agreed soon it will be difficult for farmers to obtain seeds for sowing and fertilisers. The area sown is, therefore, expected to slump to 4.2-4.2 million ha, which is the lowest in 13 years.
No one can tell how much will be ultimately sown and harvested. With millions of people fleeing and men having to defend their country as soldiers labour shortages will also be an issue. Some market players have already written off this year's crop and are preparing for drastic changes in the next 18 months. APK-Inform expects sunflower seed productin to range at 10 million mt at best. Carry-ins may also range high since many refiners have been forced to close. Oil mills in areas less affected by military operations have, by contrast, started to buy raw seeds to be able to supply local demand and to maintain some exports over corridors at the western borders of the country.
Coceral has issued revised EU production estimates. At 9.99 million mt, the association anticipates a 6.4% decline in production on last year. With production ranging lower in Romania and Bulgaria it will be difficult to compensate for shortfalls in Ukraine and Russia this year. Together the two countries supplied 33 million mt of sunflower seeds in 2021/2022, which accounts for more than 50% of the c. 57 million mt produced globally.