U.S. Confection Exports
The U.S. continues to be the dominant supplier of confection sunflower in-shell and kernel worldwide. Recognized as having the highest quality, U.S. processors of confection sunflower have developed technology that currently surpasses any other supplier in both volume capacity and quality control standards. Several of the domestic processing plants have gone through major renovations. Some have added processing facilities to provide specific consumer requirements such as roasting and flavoring. 

The quality control of confection sunflower in the U.S. starts on the farm. Confection sunflower planting in the U.S. is largely done on a contract basis. This contracting functions as a control for quantity and quality. Growers have learned to produce a better quality product through good management practices. The pattern is to generate a higher value product through quality production and processing and to give the consumer a broad choice of raw, semi-processed and fully processed products.

Spain, Mexico and Turkey are the most prominent customers for U.S. confection in-shell sunflower products. Spain is the largest market for confection sunflower, importing both confection sunflower in-shell for traditional snack food and sunflower kernel. Sunflower kernel in Spain is sold roasted and salted as a snack, raw for home use and as an ingredient in food products including bread and confectionery products. Mexico imports both confection sunflower in-shell and sunflower kernel as well. In-shell is used as a snack and kernel as an ingredient in bakery and snack products. Turkey remains an important export destination for U.S. confection sunflower seeds. Confection sunflower seed is a traditional and popular snack in Turkey and the surrounding region. In Canada, sunflower kernel is used as a food ingredient and for snack foods.
Kernel
U.S. Confection Sunflower Exports
Top Ten Markets from 2014/15
and Comparison to 2012/13, 2013/14
October 1 - September 30
Country 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 Country Share of U.S. Exports 2014/15* Current Year Exports - 2/16
Canada 3,726 3,473 4,015 34% 1,252
Korea 1,180 1,208 2,397 20% 573
Mexico 1,074 1,183 2,167 19% 524
Spain 2,078 2,137 2,031 17% 344
Germany 316 673 246 2% 96
Austria 0 0 234 2% 0
Isreal 863 253 147 1% 46
Singapore 76 152 88 1% 36
Equador 59 21 75 1% 0
Chile 0 91 53 1% 25
Other 3,561 1,363 246 2% 207
TOTAL 12,933 10,554 11,699 100% 3,103
Shipping Weight in Metric Tons
* By volume/kernel only
In-Shell
U.S. Confection Sunflower Exports
Top Ten Markets from 2014/15
and Comparison to 2012/13, 2013/14
October 1 - September 30
Country 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 Country Share of U.S. Exports 2013/14 Current Year Exports - 2/16
Spain 21,023 23,031 20,593 36% 8,271
Mexico 6,104 9,932 8,203 14% 4,259
Turkey 14,960 10,064 4,506 8% 3,290
Iraq 857 504 3,379 6% 5,807
Jordan 5,846 4,889 3,286 6% 987
Indonesia 1,502 669 2,860 5% 372
Israel 1,934 3,966 2,472 4% 250
Egypt 5,435 2,096 1,959 4% 752
Kuwait 6,560 3,695 1,648 3% 153
Greece 1,626 1,658 1,513 3% 804
Other 11,869 9,065 6,253 11% 1,901
TOTAL 77,716 69,569 56,672 100% 26,846
Shipping weight in metric tons
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