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European prices for sunflower oil have fallen in the last two weeks following a sharp rise in prices since the beginning of the year and a drop in exports of a large quantity of oil from Ukraine, said Thomas Mielke, head of OilWorld in Hamburg.

EU sunflower oil prices rose to a peak of around 2,650 to 2,800 euros per tonne in mid-March. However, this price level destroyed the demand. Currently, the offered quantities are much higher than the demanded quantities from the buyers.

According to the expert, more Ukrainian sunflower oil is coming onto the market, offered for sale at prices between US$1,900 and US$2,250 per tonne and delivered by road or rail through Moldova, Romania, Poland and other neighbouring countries from April to June.

“Russian sellers are offering discounted sunflower oil and other agricultural commodities on the world market to encourage purchases by foreign customers and reduce current high stock levels. In the first week of April, Russian sunflower oil was offered at prices between US$1,800 and US$1,900 per tonne FOB. Or even cheaper,” says Mielke.

“In the European Union, the price premium for sunflower oil compared to rapeseed oil has almost disappeared. In some places, the price of sunflower oil is even lower than the price of rapeseed oil. This reflected the demand disruption when prices were unusually high in the first half of March,” said Mielke.

At the same time, the expert also said that deliveries of sunflower oil to the EU would remain limited as long as the conflict in Ukraine continued.

Mielke said that oilseed processors in the EU are now increasing sunflower oil production, partly by importing sunflower seeds from South America.

“In the EU, the volume of sunflower seed processing is growing faster than previously expected. According to preliminary estimates, the figures will reach about 9.3-9.4 million tonnes between August 2021 and July 2022. The biggest growth will be seen in Romania, Bulgaria, France, Hungary and Spain,” the expert concluded.

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