Sunflower seed stocks are decreasing seasonally. As of March, ending stocks in Ukraine were at 4.5 million metric tons (mmt), with an average monthly crushing volume of about 1.5 mmt. By June, stocks could be nearly depleted. The addition of Kernel’s new plant, with a crushing capacity of 1 mmt per year, is expected to tighten the supply of sunflower seeds and subsequently sunflower oil in the upcoming months.

On top of that, market prices were influenced by increased perceptions of war risk after a missile attack destroyed a Wilmar terminal and oil tanks in Pivdennyi, Ukraine.

The Vesper Black Sea Price Index for sunflower seeds as of October 22, 2023, rose to €257 | $275 per metric ton (FOB Black Sea), up from €253 | $266 the previous week. The Vesper West EU Forward Price Index for crude sunflower oil for the period of May-June 2024 also increased, reflecting a rise in demand and potential supply constraints. Additionally, the CIF Mersin price increased, although the CIF India price showed a slight decrease.

The European Parliament has approved the extension of temporary trade liberalization measures for Ukraine, allowing the EU Commission to implement necessary actions if imports from Ukraine significantly disrupt the EU market.

Import/Export Statistics:

  • Ukraine’s export lineup for sunflower oil in April 2024 reached 203,000 metric tons, compared to 140,000 in the same period last year and 407,000 in March 2024.
  • Russia’s export lineup for the same period was 160,000 metric tons, showing a steady increase from the previous year.
  • Turkey’s imports for April 2024 were recorded at 109,000 metric tons, significantly lower than in March 2024.

Stocks of sunflower seeds in Ukraine, and potentially Russia, are expected to decrease further in the coming months. The anticipated sunflower crop in Ukraine for autumn is projected at 12.4 million metric tons, slightly less than the previous season’s 12.9 million metric tons. With palm oil remaining more expensive than sunflower oil in India, the market sentiment is neutral to slightly bullish. Our predictive models suggest a stable trend for the FOB Ukraine price, while the FOB Russia price may decline.

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