Nearby prices at the crush plants were mixed at down 10 to up 10 cents this week. 2022 new crop prices were unchanged. About 21% of sunflowers were in the bin as of last week, up from 8% seven days earlier and well ahead of the prior five-year average of 11% for this time of year, the USDA said. In the past week, producers harvested an additional 146,600 acres pushing 2021 harvested acres to about 242,200 acres. Harvest progress remains about a week ahead of the five-year average and equal to last year at this same time. However, it may take a while for fields to dry out in the Dakotas and Minnesota from the past week's heavy rain and snow and allow equipment back into the fields to continue harvest. This week, USDA pegged 2021 sunflower production at 1.90 billion pounds, down 36 percent from the revised 2020 production of 2.98 billion pounds. USDA added 480,000 pounds to 2020 non-oil sunflower production and left oil type production unchanged from last year. Area planted, at 1.28 million acres is down 27 percent from last year. US sunflower growers are expected to harvest 1.22 million acres, down 27 percent from last year. The overall average yield for all sunflower types is forecast, at 1,554 pounds per acre. This is 236 pounds lower than last year’s yield, if realized. Harvest progress, yield and crop quality will be key to prices going forward.
Crush plants are offering 2022 new crop cash and Act of God (AOG) contracts. NuSun cash is $26.80-$27.00 and $26.30-$26.50 AOG. High oleics are $27.20-$27.25 cash and $26.50-$26.75 AOG. Something else to consider is the oil premiums that crush plants pay on sunflower. Sunflower is the only oilseed that pays premiums for oil content above 40%. Considering oil premiums that are offered at the crush plants on oil content above 40% at a rate of 2% price premium for each 1% of oil above 40%; this pushes a contract with 45% oil content gross return 10% higher per cwt. The AOG $26.30 contract increases to $29.00, and the cash $27.25 contract moves up to $30.00.
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