Sunflower seed production in the European Union, Ukraine and Russia will drop 11.7% to a total of 24.82 million tons this year, from 28.12 million tons a year ago, Hamburg-based oilseed analyst Oil World said on Tuesday.
”We are now in a transition period, when sun-seed oil (fob Black Sea) is still offered competitively to soy oil (fob Argentina) to the major importing countries of North Africa and India owing to more attractive freight costs, Oil World said.
But the prospective large decline by 3.3 million tons in this year's combined sun-seed production in the European Union and the CIS countries will enforce a reduction in crushing and strengthen the prices of sun-seed, oil and meal in the next months, spilling over also to rapeseed and products.
Oil World has cut its estimate for sunflower production in the EU member states to 7.22 million tons from 7.87 million tons previously because of drought in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Spain.
Sunflower production in key exporters Ukraine and Russia is forecast to decline to 17.6% million tons from 19.9 million tons in the previous year.
Above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall have taken their toll in the development of corn and sun-seed in Russia and Ukraine” Oil World said in its weekly edition.
The decline in sunflower production in the Black Sea region will reduce the region's export supplies and limit the imports to the EU to up to 350.000 tons.
Last year, the EU member states whose sunflower production totalled 8.22 million tons, a million tons above this year's forecast, imported 322.000 tons of sunflower seed from Ukraine and Russia.