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Bulgaria’s sunflower seed and rapeseed production are forecast to rise in the marketing year 2021-22 over the previous year due to good weather conditions, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA projected 2021-22 sunflower seed output at 2,015 million tonnes, a 16% increase over last year’s total. It also sees this year’s rapeseed crop increasing by 28% over the previous year to 360.000 tonnes. However, Bulgaria’s share in the worldwide rapeseed and canola industry (worldwide production: ca. 70 mln mt) remains tiny.

“As of mid-July, the rapeseed harvest was 46% complete with reported yields exceeding earlier estimates,” the USDA said.

The report noted that 2020-21 exports of rapeseed and sunflower seed lagged behind the previous season due to the shorter crop and growing demand for domestic crushes. The USDA estimates Bulgaria exporting 200.000 tonnes of rapeseed and 800.000 tonnes of sunflower seed in 2020-21.

On the other hand, the USDA also reports that weather conditions still strongly impact the sunflower seeds development. In recent days it has been scorching hot and dry, which has also led to damage to the plants, according to some market participants. Experts are very cautious about positive forecasts, and this is felt in the market. Currently, sellers offer hulled sunflower kernels at a high level, around 0,90 Euro/kg EXW Bulgaria.

This is an indication that people apparently no longer believe in a record harvest. The situation could develop similarly to last year. Initially, many market participants assumed a record harvest, but the figures were corrected several times downwards.

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