According to the latest USDA crop production report, sunflower production will
account for a majority of the increase in global oilseed production this year.
Global production of sunflower for 2011/12 is projected at a record 35.7 million
metric tons, up 887,000 tons from last month. The increase is based on larger
crop estimates for Russia, the EU-27, Turkey, and Argentina. The expectation of
this huge crop has led to a sharp decline in world sunflower seed and oil
prices. USDA gave its first estimate of US sunflower crop prospects in the
report as well. 2011 planted acreage of sunflower was the lowest since 1976.
USDA dropped its acreage estimate by 312,000 acres from the June estimate.
Sunflower yields are also down this year in every state except South Dakota. The
2011 national average yield is forecast at 1,420 pounds per acre, versus 1,460
pounds last year. US sunflower seed production is estimated down by 24 percent
to 2.091 billion pounds. Domestic sunflower supplies are further tightened by a
smaller stock carryover, down 34 percent from a year ago. Given the tight ending
stocks and decreased acres industry members are hoping for above normal yields
to enhance supply for this marketing year. Harvest has begun and early delivery
pressure is starting to affect nearby prices and is expected to continue in the
near term. However smaller beginning stocks and decreased 2011 production should bode well for attractive 2012 new crop price offerings.