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Russian Sunflower-Seed Sales Decline on Smaller Oil Production

Sales of sunflower seeds in Russia, the world’s second-biggest producer, dropped 42 percent compared with a year earlier to 824,000 metric tons in December, SovEcon said on its website, citing state statistics data.

Russia harvested 7.96 million tons of sunflower seeds this season, or about 18 percent less than the record crop a year earlier, Agriculture Ministry data show. The country is the second-biggest sunflower seed and sunflower oil producer after Ukraine, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Non-refined sunflower oil production dropped 23 percent in December compared with a year earlier and declined 12 percent compared with the preceding month, SovEcon, a Moscow-based industry researcher, said.

Average sunflower seeds prices rose 0.3 percent to 17,250 rubles ($572) a ton in the European part of Russia last week, according to SovEcon data.

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