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  June 12th, 2021 | Written by

Rising Demand Drives Global Sunflower Oil Market Despite the Ongoing Price Rally

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  • In 2020, approx. 11M tonnes of sunflower-seed and safflower oil were exported worldwide, falling by -17.3%.
  • This year, the global sunflower oil output is forecast to increase by 4% to 39М tonnes.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Sunflower-Seed And Safflower Oil – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Over the past year, the prices for sunflower oil have doubled, driven by robust demand and depleting sunflower seed stocks. The dry weather conditions negatively affected the sunflower crop yield in 2020, but the market is now seeing a sturdy recovery. The production of sunflower oil is forecast to increase in 2021 due to strong demand that promotes investments in the expansion of harvested areas.

Key Trends and Insights

In 2020, the adverse weather conditions caused global sunflower production to fall by 9% against 2019. This led to the rapid depletion of global stocks and the subsequent rise in prices for sunflower seeds and oil. The average price for sunflower oil in 2020 stood at $795 per tonne (EU FOB NW Euro); in the first six months of 2021, prices reached $1,321 per tonne.

Despite prices rising at an exorbitant rate, the demand for sunflower oil is set to remain stable, supported by the growing consumption of food oil and biofuels. Should the HoReCa and tourism sectors resume full operation, a further increase in demand is expected in the medium term.

The competing oils available on the market are also seeing a similar record rise in prices. The cost of soybean oil increased from $785 / tonne (Dutch FOB; Ex-Mill) to $1,112 / tonne, and palm oil from $645 to $955 / tonne (Malaysia FOB; RBD) over the same period. This means that sunflower oil follows the global trend of accelerating food inflation and should hold its position among competing oils in the global market.

In 2021, global exports of sunflower oil are forecast to increase by 14% y-o-y, reaching 12.6М tonnes. The EU, China, India, Iraq and Turkey feature among the most attractive destinations for export due to rising food demand from expanding middle class and urban population. Imports of sunflower oil to India may increase by 250К tonnes, to 2.5М tonnes, while imports to Turkey may see an increase of 850К tonnes.

This year, the global sunflower oil output is forecast to increase by 4% to 39М tonnes, spurred by a record acreage expansion and the anticipated favourable weather outlook. New areas of land for sunflower crop cultivation in Russia, Ukraine, the EU, Argentina, Turkey and Moldova should trigger the further growth of sunflower seed production. In the U.S. and China, sunflower oil production is forecast to decline due to a reduction in areas under sunflower against rising plantations of soybeans.

Sunflower Oil Consumption by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of sunflower-seed and safflower oil consumption in 2020 were Russia (3.6M tonnes), India (2.6M tonnes) and China (2.4M tonnes), together comprising 37% of global consumption. Turkey, Argentina, Spain, Ukraine, Iran, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and South Africa lagged somewhat behind, accounting for a further 34%.

In value terms, the largest sunflower-seed and safflower oil markets worldwide were Russia ($3.1B), India ($2.2B) and Turkey ($2B), together comprising 33% of the global market. China, Argentina, Spain, Ukraine, Italy, France, Iran, South Africa, Belgium and the Netherlands lagged somewhat behind, comprising a further 35% (IndexBox estimates).

The countries with the highest levels of sunflower-seed and safflower oil per capita consumption in 2020 were Belgium (39 kg per person), the Netherlands (26 kg per person) and Russia (25 kg per person).

Global Sunflower-Seed and Safflower Oil Exports

In 2020, approx. 11M tonnes of sunflower-seed and safflower oil were exported worldwide, falling by -17.3% compared with 2019. In value terms, sunflower-seed and safflower oil exports shrank to $10B in 2020.

Ukraine represented the major exporting country with an export of about 5.1M tonnes, which finished at 46% of total exports. Russia (1,568K tonnes) held a 14% share (based on tonnes) of total exports, which put it in second place, followed by the Netherlands (6.7%) and Hungary (4.7%). France (370K tonnes), Bulgaria (334K tonnes), Argentina (317K tonnes), Spain (221K tonnes), Germany (195K tonnes) and Romania (191K tonnes) took a relatively small share of total exports.

Exports from Ukraine increased at an average annual rate of +4.6% from 2012 to 2020. At the same time, Bulgaria (+15.7%), Spain (+8.9%), the Netherlands (+7.4%), Russia (+6.3%), Romania (+3.8%), Germany (+3.4%) and Hungary (+3.2%) displayed positive paces of growth. By contrast, France (-2.3%) and Argentina (-8.8%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period.

In value terms, Ukraine ($4.3B) remains the largest sunflower-seed and safflower oil supplier worldwide, comprising 43% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Russia ($1.3B), with a 13% share of global exports. It was followed by the Netherlands, with a 7.2% share.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform