Oilseeds - Oilseeds

Sunflower seeds: prices take unusual turn

July 2, 2020 10:37 AM, Der AUDITOR
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SOFIA/MOSCOW. Although the new sunflower seed crop is developing well in Bulgaria, some traders are exercising restraint in issuing offers.

Weather plays along

Official estimates state that 819,000 ha have been sown in Bulgaria so far, around 10.3% more than at this time last year. Flowering has already started in the southern parts of the country and prospects are highly encouraging. The market remains under pressure with black in-shells with a 98% purity still trading at EUR 345 per metric tonne CPT Varna. Offers for the new crop have, however, still to be issued.

Last year's crop trades lower

Prices have taken an unusual dip for this time of the year. The market normally witnesses a rise in prices over the summer months as processors normally close for cleaning and maintenance work. Things are, however, entirely different this year as the market is more dependent on demand than ever before. Subdued demand for spot purchases have pushed the prices for bakery kernels down to a nominally lower level of EUR 0.68-0.74 per kg DDP Germany. 

Traders have differing opinions on the price development in the new season. Although production prospects are highly encouraging, the larger share in high oleic seeds coupled with export restriction in the Eurasian Economic Union and the possibility that Russia may raise export tariffs next year are generating uncertainty. Some traders reckon that the price decline at the beginning of the new season may not be quite as pronounced as usual, while others state that prices may even go up. These unsettling conditions have prompted some suppliers to refrain from submitting offers for the new crop. Reference prices prices, however, range at EUR 0.655-0.680 per kg DDP Germany.

Sunflower seeds, Bulgaria

Type

EUR/mt

Hulled, bakery, DDP Germany, 2019 crop

680-740

Hulled, bakery, DDP Germany, 2020 crop

655-680

Unhulled, 98% purity, CPT Varna

345

Trade sources

Companies require export licenses

Sunflower seed exports from Russia are basically possible again since 1 July as decreed by Eurasian Economic Commission regulation no 78. The regulation, however, also requires exporting companies to obtain an export licence from the appropriate authorities in their country. Although Kazakhstan opposes this new regulation, the country is a member of the union and must comply. The European Commission's recent report on oilseeds states that the EU imported around 1.023 million metric tonnes of sunflower seeds between 1 July 2019 and 7 June 2020, a 16% rise over the same period last year. Russia supplied nearly 46% of all shipments.

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