sunflower-oil-commercial-aspects-part-1
by:     April 25, 2022

Sunflower crop is cultivated in many countries across the world, especially in Europe. Several countries across Asia also grow sunflowers for the production of sunflower oil. There is significant international trade in sunflower seeds, oil as well as meal.

The present article presents an overview of the global production and trade of sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and the meal or deoiled cake.

The following table lists the global supply and distribution of sunflower seeds – production, imports and exports for the past several years. The last column in the table gives the total sunflower seeds crushed worldwide to extract the oil.

TABLE 1: SUNFLOWER SEEDS – GLOBAL SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION (million MT)

DESCRIPTION /

YEARS

PRODUCTION, million MT IMPORTS, million MT EXPORTS, million MT CRUSH, million MT
2017-18 48.01 2.38 2.75 44.17
2018-19 50.66 2.89 3.24 46.52
2019-20 54.20 3.34 3.66 49.31
2020-21 49.27 2.73 2.91 45.20
2021-22 (Estimate) 57.31 2.17 2.55 48.45

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

Thus, the global production of sunflower seeds has been stable at about 50 million MT per year during the past five years. However, the current year’s (2021-22) estimated production is significantly higher at more than 57 million MT. The global trade in sunflower seeds is not very significant and is about two to three million MT per year. Of the total sunflower seeds produced, about 45 to 49 million MT are crushed every year to produce sunflower oil globally.

The following table presents sunflower seeds production data for major producing countries and regions for the past three years.

TABLE 2: COUNTRY-WISE SUNFLOWER SEEDS PRODUCTION (2019-22)

DESCRIPTION SUNFLOWER SEEDS PRODUCTION, ‘000 MT
YEARS /

COUNTRIES

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
Argentina 3235 3430 3350
Russia 15305 13269 15572
Turkey 1750 1560 1750
Ukraine 16500 14100 17500
European Union 9474 8915 10432
Others 7935 7992 8706
World Total 54199 49266 57310

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

It should be noted here that the marketing year or oil year in these countries differs – In Argentina, the oil marketing year is observed as March to February; in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, September to August; and in European Union, it is October to September.

The following table lists imports and exports of sunflower seeds by major countries and regions for the past three years.

TABLE 3: COUNTRY-WISE SUNFLOWER SEEDS IMPORTS AND EXPORTS (2019-22)

DESCRIPTION SUNFLOWER SEEDS IMPORTS,

‘000 MT

SUNFLOWER SEEDS EXPORTS,

‘000 MT

YEARS /

COUNTRIES

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
Argentina 0 0 0 184 187 165
Russia 56 70 50 1253 554 250
Turkey 1178 907 900 99 123 100
Ukraine 31 24 10 53 191 75
European Union 976 779 425 528 624 600
Others 1102 954 787 1542 1232 1356
World Total 3343 2734 2172 3659 2911 2546

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

The following table lists the world supply and distribution of sunflower oil – production, imports and exports for the past several years.

TABLE 4: SUNFLOWER OIL – GLOBAL SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION (million MT)

DESCRIPTION /

YEARS

PRODUCTION, million MT IMPORTS, million MT EXPORTS, million MT
2017-18 18.58 9.15 10.32
2018-19 19.60 9.65 11.50
2019-20 21.12 11.72 13.47
2020-21 19.07 9.65 11.29
2021-22
(Estimate)
20.39 9.57 10.74

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

As can be seen from the above table, the global sunflower oil production has remained at about 20 million MT per year for the past five years. The international trade or imports and exports of sunflower oil are around 9 to 13 million MT per year. The international trade in sunflower oil is much higher than that in sunflower seeds. Thus, it may be concluded that most of the sunflower seed cultivating countries prefer to produce the sunflower oil and export the oil rather than the seeds. As the area under sunflower cultivation increases in the producing countries, more and more oil extraction capacity will be needed so that all the available sunflower seeds are crushed to extract the oil, which can then be exported for better value addition and realization.

Sunflower oil production data for select countries and regions in the world for the past three years are given in the following table.

TABLE 5: COUNTRY-WISE SUNFLOWER OIL PRODUCTION (2019-22)

DESCRIPTION SUNFLOWER OIL PRODUCTION, ‘000 MT
YEARS /

COUNTRIES

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
Argentina 1160 1350 1360
Russia 5700 5121 5823
Turkey 1086 1044 1054
Ukraine 7390 5913 5676
European Union 3645 3481 3991
Others 2137 2161 2489
World Total 21118 19070 20393

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

Last three years’ international trade data of sunflower oil for the select major producing countries are presented in the following table.

TABLE 6: COUNTRY-WISE SUNFLOWER OIL IMPORTS AND EXPORTS (2019-22)

DESCRIPTION SUNFLOWER OIL IMPORTS,

‘000 MT

SUNFLOWER OIL EXPORTS,

‘000 MT

YEARS /

COUNTRIES

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
Argentina 0 0 0 558 828 750
Russia 1 1 1 3830 3246 3200
Turkey 870 778 725 715 639 600
Ukraine 0 0 0 6686 5273 4950
European Union 2368 1602 1525 875 683 625
Others 8477 7268 7316 806 625 613
World Total 11716 9649 9567 13470 11294 10738

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

As can be seen from the above tables, Argentina is not importing sunflower seeds, sunflower oil as well as sunflower meal. However, the major producer Ukraine is importing some quantities of sunflower seeds, but it is not importing any sunflower oil. This indicates that Ukraine has more than required sunflower seeds crushing or oil extraction capacity.

It must be noted here that when sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds, the residue or meal is also obtained. This meal or deoiled cake can also be exported and thus is a value-added product.

The following table presents global production, imports and exports of sunflower meal or cake for the past five years.

TABLE 7: SUNFLOWER MEAL – GLOBAL SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION (million MT)

DESCRIPTION /

YEARS

PRODUCTION, million MT IMPORTS, million MT EXPORTS, million MT
2017-18 20.02 6.84 7.16
2018-19 20.94 8.08 8.17
2019-20 21.72 8.56 8.83
2020-21 20.31 7.59 8.139
2021-22
(Estimate)
21.87 7.19 7.63

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

The following table presents sunflower meal or deoiled cake production by select countries and regions for the past three years.

TABLE 8: COUNTRY-WISE SUNFLOWER MEAL PRODUCTION (2019-22)

DESCRIPTION SUNFLOWER MEAL PRODUCTION, ‘000 MT
YEARS /

COUNTRIES

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
Argentina 1170 1335 1360
Russia 5672 5096 5798
Turkey 1361 1306 1320
Ukraine 6455 5679 5452
European Union 4663 4459 5081
Others 2395 2437 2860
World Total 21716 20312 21871

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

Imports and exports of sunflower meal in the selected countries and regions for the past three years are presented in the following table.

TABLE 9: COUNTRY-WISE SUNFLOWER MEAL IMPORTS AND EXPORTS (2019-22)

DESCRIPTION SUNFLOWER MEAL IMPORTS,

‘000 MT

SUNFLOWER MEAL EXPORTS,

‘000 MT

YEARS /

COUNTRIES

2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
(Estimate)
Argentina 0 0 0 599 953 815
Russia 20 22 20 2033 1744 1750
Turkey 1029 813 1025 15 18 15
Ukraine 10 2 3 5181 4396 4100
European Union 2890 2586 2475 575 697 525
Others 4609 4167 3670 431 317 420
World Total 8558 7590 7193 8834 8125 7625

[SOURCE – FAS-USDA]

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