Dakota Farmer

Yet domestic usage and exports are expected to increase for the year.

John Sandbakken, Executive director

May 30, 2023

3 Min Read
close-up of sunflower
WORLD VIEW: For 2023-24, global sunflower production is going to be a moving target, depending on what actually gets planted in Ukraine this year. Danny Lehman/Getty Images

According to USDA, growers intend to plant 1.36 million acres of sunflowers in 2023, down 20% from 2022. Using a trend yield, the initial estimate of 2023 U.S. sunflower production is pegged at 2.3 billion pounds, which would represent a decrease of 18% from last year. Most of the reduction is anticipated in oil-type sunflowers, with intended acres at 1.2 million, down 22% from 2022.

Based on intended acreage and using a trend yield, oil-type sunflower production may decline to 2 billion pounds in 2023, down 22% from last year. Seed stocks were ample at the beginning of March and will give crushers some cushion next year if 2023 production turns out as expected.

Non-oil varieties are expected to bump up production with estimated acres up 10% from last year at 158,000. Assuming trend yields, the 2023 output of non-oil type sunflower are expected to result in increased export sales opportunities.

Domestic use to increase

In the current marketing year, domestic crush of sunflower is expected to increase to 1.32 billion pounds. Domestic sunflower oil consumption will continue to rise and reach 735 million pounds in 2022-23, with exports of sunflower oil predicted to be 100 million pounds. Meal usage is expected to expand to 694 million pounds.

Exports of sunflower seed, which includes confection in-shell seed and kernel, are expected to increase by 10% from 109 million to 120 million pounds, continuing the rebound in demand of the past two years. Bird food demand is also projected to increase slightly from the 2021-22 marketing year. Ending seed stocks are expected to move above the five-year average but not to burdensome levels.

For 2023-24, global sunflower production is going to be a moving target, depending on what actually gets planted in Ukraine this year. The war in Ukraine has left much uncertainty of what seed availability will be like this year and potentially in 2024 as well.

Ukraine was one of the major producers and exporters of sunflower oil, accounting for 50% of global sunflower oil trade. The events in Ukraine escalated an already tight vegetable oil market. This conflict between Ukraine and Russia bears watching as it has significantly increased the uncertainty of the agricultural supply-and-demand conditions in the region and globally.

Now that the South American oilseed harvest is finished, the attention of the oilseed market will shift to U.S. crop conditions and production prospects in the months ahead. Weather and demand news will be the main market factors across the sunflower-growing region.

New-crop sunflower seed prices should remain firm in the months ahead, unless there is some pressure from lower prices in the soybean market during the first part of the marketing year. This can change dramatically over the course of the next few months, depending upon the number of acres planted and yields achieved at harvest.

Your one-stop shop to get answers to your sunflower production questions and keep up with market news and prices is the National Sunflower Association website at sunflowernsa.com. Follow us on Twitter @NatlSunflower.

Sandbakken is executive director of the National Sunflower Association.

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About the Author(s)

John Sandbakken

Executive director, National Sunflower Association

John Sandbakken of Mandan, N.D., has been the executive director of the National Sunflower Association since 2012. Before his current post, he was NSA's international marketing director for 16 years.

The National Sunflower Association is a combination of United States sunflower growers and industry members. NSA is a nonprofit organization working in the areas of market development, education, production and utilization research.

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