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W5 Sunflower Update: Sunflower Shortage in Bulgaria Threatens Processing Industry, Russia Eyes Significant Expansion in Sunflower Cultivation in 2024 is this okay

Sunflower Seed
Bulgaria
Sustainability & Environmental Impact
Refined Sunflower Oil
Russia
Market & Price Trends
Published Feb 9, 2024
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Ukraine's Sunflower Oil Exports Soar Amidst EU Demand

From July 1, 2023, to January 14, 2024, Ukraine's vegetable oil exports to the European Union (EU) surged by 23% year-on-year (YoY), totaling almost 1.4 million metric tons (mmt). Sunflower oil exports increased by 23% YoY to 1.178 mmt. However, sunflower supplies dropped to 113.1 thousand metric tons (mt) from 1.445 mmt compared to a year earlier.

Bulgaria's Sunflower Shortage Threatens Processing Companies

Due to a shortage of sunflowers in Bulgaria this spring, processing companies are at risk of closure, as there have been no imports since Sep-23 to Nov-23, and current quantities from Moldova and Romania are insufficient. The situation, which has persisted for ten months, is critical, with Bulgaria facing a shortfall of 2.5 mmt of sunflowers needed for processing. The chairman of the Association of Producers of Vegetable Oils and Oil Products expressed concern over proposed restrictive measures on imports, emphasizing the necessity of sunflowers for production. Despite quality assurance, import restrictions persist, exacerbating the industry's challenges.

Russia Implemented Quotas on Agricultural Seed Imports from Unfriendly Countries

Russia implemented import quotas for agricultural crop seeds from unfriendly countries, amounting to 33.1 thousand mt, effective from the 11th working day after the decree's publication until December 31, 2024. The restrictions cover seeds of potatoes, wheat, rye, barley, corn, soybeans, sunflowers, and sugar beets, with specific quotas allocated for each crop type. This measure follows the approval of a list of agricultural seeds subject to import restrictions in Jun-23, aimed at regulating seed imports and promoting domestic agricultural production.

Russia's Sunflower Cultivation Projected to Surge in 2024

Preliminary forecasts indicate an anticipated 8.5% YoY growth in the area dedicated to oilseed cultivation in Russia, with sunflower cultivation expected to expand significantly. The projected area for sunflower cultivation is estimated to reach between 10.6 to 10.7 million hectares (ha), with 1.2 million ha allocated to new regions and plans to increase cultivation in 19 regions. Furthermore, the regions witnessing the most significant increases in sunflower acreage for 2024 compared to 2023 include Bashkortostan (+14.7 thousand ha), Tatarstan (+10.4 thousand ha), Crimea (+3.7 thousand ha), Ryazan region (+3.5 thousand ha), and Stavropol region (+3.2 thousand ha).

Russian Sunflower Oil Production Surged in Dec-23, Led by Unrefined Varieties

At the end of Dec-23, domestic oil extraction plants in Russia saw a significant 18% YoY increase in sunflower oil production and its fractions. The unrefined sunflower oil production notably surged by 17.3% YoY, reaching 727.2 thousand mt, marking a 15% month-on-month (MoM) increase. Overall, the production of unrefined sunflower oil for the entire year amounted to 6.9 mmt, reflecting a robust 13.2% YoY growth. However, the production of refined sunflower oil and its fractions experienced a more modest increase, rising by only 0.3% YoY in Dec-23 and declining by 6.6% MoM. Despite this, the annual production of refined products saw a notable 5.5% YoY increase, reaching 2.7 mmt, albeit not as substantial as the growth observed in unrefined oil production.

Kazakhstan's Sunflower Seed Harvest Dipped in 2023 Despite Expanded Cultivation

Kazakhstan experienced a slight decrease in sunflower seed harvest in 2023, totaling 1.23 mmt after processing, which is 5% YoY lower. However, the sown area of sunflowers expanded by 7% YoY, reaching 1.17 million ha. The harvested area also increased to 1.37 million ha, reflecting a 6.8% YoY rise. Despite this expansion, there were reports of dead sunflower crops covering 16.8 thousand ha in agricultural enterprises and approximately 5.9 thousand ha in peasant and farm enterprises. Notably, the Abay and East Kazakhstan regions emerged as leaders in sunflower harvest, with the Abay region witnessing a 19% increase while the East Kazakhstan region experienced a 7% decline compared to 2022.

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