Sunflower seeds: “The damage is irreversible“

December 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM , Der AUDITOR
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SEEHEIM/SOFIA. What kind of new challenges did the year 2022 provide? How do buyers deal with the sometimes significant price increases and what are the expectations for the coming year 2023? We were talking to one of our business partners from the Bulgarian sunflower seed market, who kindly answered all our questions. Read the complete interview here.

Which were the major difficulties faced by the sunflower seed market in 2022?

The price volatility and market instability – they are such a serious challenge that makes it impossible to plan our business and to maintain long term sustainable business relationships.

Which effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still noticeable?

Missing people from work are still a problem (this matter is not as important as the conflict in Ukraine, although the death rate in Bulgaria is one of the highest death rates related to Covid in the world).

In most markets, prices for feed and food commodities have increased significantly over the past year. Sunflower seeds are no exception here. Do you think that buyers will have to adjust to these higher prices in the long term, or do you expect prices to decline again?

The customers will have to adjust as there is no return back. Neither the oil prices will go down, nor the electricity costs, nor the transportation costs, nor anything else… The damage is irreversible!

Has the demand situation changed compared to 2021 and 2020? Do you think that some buyers and processors have had to readjust their needs?

The demand has declined a little but this is normal and readjusting is always necessary.

Furthermore, climate change and crop problems are real and pose a threat to all types of food and feed around the world and will most likely continue to do so. How would this affect the sunflower seed market in the future and what could businesses in this industry do to improve this situation?

Some varieties will disappear completely as the farmers are not willing to grow them anymore. Hopefully new varieties will come to replace the old ones. The striped sunflower seeds and the bigger sizes are extremely vulnerable and their future is under question.

Considering the current crises (pandemic, energy, wars, climate change etc.), what do you think the sunflower seed market has to prepare for in the coming year? Are there any major consequences to be expected for the 2023/2024 season in terms of supply and demand?

No one can be well prepared for what is coming! Huge hyperinflation and huge unemployment are most likely to happen in 2023 and also financial collapses of banks and companies and whole economic sectors. It is also possible that the conflict in Ukraine escalates, and other countries may get involved too. Unfortunately, no one is looking for a peace solution, which according to us is the only reasonable way out of the deep crisis that is just starting. We strongly believe that no problem can be solved with violence and that the violent approach can lead only to more violence and destruction and suffering.

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