Another good week for sunflower prices at the crush plants. This week at the North Dakota crush plants, old crop added 70-75 cents with prices moving up to $40.20-$40.75. New crop prices were unchanged and are trading at $33.10-$34.20 cash with AOG at $32.40-$33.70. Nearby price at the Lamar, Colorado plant was up 80 cents to $39.50 with new crop up 30 cents at $33.70. USDA released one of its most important World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports of the year this week. It gave the market the first look at global production, supply, and demand forecasts for the 2022/23 marketing year for several crops. Historically these are the fundamental figures that will largely dictate pricing for 2022 crops over the next year. Of most importance to the sunflower industry was USDA’s estimates of Ukrainian sunflower production and exports. For 2022/23, USDA pegged sunflower production at 11.0 million metric tons (MMT) which represents a 37 percent decrease from Ukraine's 2021 sunflower production of 17,500 MMT. Sunflower oil exports are projected at 3.8 MMT for 2022/23 in Ukraine, down from 4.35 MMT forecast for the 2021/22 marketing year which may be optimistic considering the current situation in the war-torn region. Ukraine’s exports were far below normal levels in April as the war affects operations of terminals and ports on the Black Sea. Given Ukraine’s importance to global sunflower production, traders will be closely watching USDA sunflower production and export estimates in the months ahead.
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