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Sunflower seeds: uncertainty governs market

June 24, 2020 2:40 PM, Der AUDITOR
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SOFIA. Although daytime temperatures range as high as 30C and regular rains currently provide ideal conditions for the sunflowers in Bulgaria, market players are concerned that there is too much rain. Problem is that...

...excessive rains have already impacted wheat harvesting. Delays and interruptions are being reported and the market is concerned over the quality of wheat and barley. Hailstorms have even occurred in some parts of the country.

Up to 200,000 hectares sown with high oleic seeds

According to the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, 817,000 hectares had been sown with sunflower seeds in mid-June, an increase of 10.2% over last year (742,000 ha). Estimates state that high oleic seeds have been sown on an area of 170,000-200,000 hectares, which comprises around a quarter of the total area sown with sunflower seeds. High oleic acreage in other words ranges much higher than last year. If yields range at an average of 2.4 metric tonnes per hectare, total production may reach 1.96 million metric tonnes. This is roughly in line with Coceral's estimate of 1.91 million metric tonnes, which is, however, based on a smaller acreage.

Traders hold back

Prices have remained stable for the time being, with exchange rates benefiting buyers for raw seeds. Black in-shells with a 98% purity are trading firm at EUR 345 per metric tonne CPT Varna. Subdued demand and deferred contract are currently preventing the prices for bakery kernels from rising again. The new crop is trading in a range of EUR 655-680 per kg DDP Germany.

Attention is shifting more and more towards the new crop in negotiations. While buyers are reluctant to close deals due to the good crop forecasts in the Black Sea region, traders are also cautious. The new crop is still several weeks away and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will most certainly continue to impact the market over the next few weeks.

Sunflower kernels, Bulgaria

Type

EUR/mt

Hulled, bakery, DDP Germany, 2019 crop

700-745

Hulled, bakery, DDP Germany, 2020 crop

655-680

unhulled, 98% purity, CPT Varna

345

Trade sources

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