Buenos Aires, November 19, 2019. Missing data from the last quarter, exports of the sunflower complex are beating records this year, according to the National Census and Statistics Institute (INDEC). The two leading products, sunflower crude oil and sunflower meal, reached 742K tons and 815K tons respectively, in the period between January and September. Adding sunflower grain and refined oil, total exports reached 1.77 million metric tons, which worth USD 784 million.

This is the largest volume since 2012 when sunflower exports (Jan-Dec) totalized 1.66 MMT but were worth 1.12 billion dollars. That year, the FOB price for the crude oil averaged 1,131 dollars per ton and refined oil 1,607 dollars. Instead of this, during the current year, prices dropped to 681 and 992 dollars per ton, respectively.

The average price for the sunflower complex exports slumped year after year from a peak of USD 741 in 2013 to a bottom USD 443, this year.

The Cambiemos’ years marked a recovery of the sunflower production and exports, which averaged USD 760 million a year versus USD 532 million in the last two years of the previous government.

One of the most significant changes occurred in the sunflower refined oil that reached 139K tons in 2017 and 130K tons in 2018, a volume that accounted for 18% of the total sunflower oil exports. Neighborhood countries Chile and Paraguay were the largest clients of the Argentine product, due to, according to eFarmNewsAr sources, a dramatic change in the relative prices between soybean and sunflower oil. “When the price gap narrows, consumers prefer sunflower oil”, they explained.

Sunflower national area climbed from a floor of 1.3 million hectares in the 2013/14 campaign to 1.94 million hectares in the last 2018/19 season, increasing the output from 2.1 MMT (2013/14) to 3.8 MMT last campaign.

Finally, from Jan to Oct, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries granted export licenses of sunflower oil for 866K tons. Oleaginosas Moreno (owned by Glencore) received 274K tons, Vicentin (a domestic family company) 224K tons and the Chinese company COFCO other 200K tons. Finally, Aceitera General Deheza, only registered exports of 80K tons.