Sunflower Seed, Rapeseed Production Seen at Record by Oil World

Global production of sunflower seeds may be larger than estimated a month ago and rapeseed output will reach a high as prospects improved for crops from Canada to Russia, Oil World said. Palm oil supplies will also climb.

Sunflower seed production may be a record 40.2 million metric tons, 600,000 tons higher than estimated a month ago and 13 percent larger than last year, the Hamburg-based researcher said in an e-mailed report. World production of rapeseed and canola may reach an all-time high 67.7 million tons in the 2013-14 season, including 21.01 million tons from the European Union and 16.5 million tons in Canada, it said.

Rising production for everything from corn to canola this season sapped crop prices globally, with rapeseed prices on NYSE Liffe in Paris sliding 17 percent since Jan. 1. Oil World raised its sunflower seed production forecasts for Russia and Ukraine by a combined 500,000 tons, so that output in the world’s top two growers probably will reach a record 19.1 million tons, even though excess rain slowed harvesting in recent months.

The “sunflower complex continues to be the weakest member of the global oilseed balance thanks to the glut of this year’s supplies in both the producing and the importing countries,” Oil World said. “The ample world rapeseed availability only adds to the bearish tone.”

Rapeseed planting in the European Union may be as low as 6.5 million hectares in 2014, about 3 percent below the prior year, Oil World said. The biggest declines may occur in France and Germany, while planting also will probably drop in Poland, the Czech Republic and the U.K. EU farmers usually plant winter crops from August to October. The crop lies dormant over winter and is harvested in summer.

Palm Oil

Global production of palm oil probably will be 58.73 million tons, 5.1 percent larger than a year earlier, including 30 million tons from Indonesia and 19.88 million tons from Malaysia, Oil World said. Inventories at the end of the 2013-14 season may rise 4.2 percent to 10.45 million tons.

“The global market will be less dependent on palm oil in the 2013-14 season thanks to a steep increase in crushings and corresponding increases in seed oil production,” primarily from soybeans and sunflower seeds, Oil World said. “We expect that there will be a setback in palm oil prices within the next four to six weeks.”

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