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Russia Bans Exporting Sunflower Seeds and Sets Quota for Sunflower Oil

Russia and Ukraine are the world's largest producers of sunflower oil


Russia announced a new ban on the export of sunflower seeds as well as new limitations on the export of sunflower oil and sunflower meal.

The seed export ban will be effective as of April 1 and last through Aug. 31. Starting on April 15, no more than 1.5 million metric tons of sunflower oil can be exported. The quota will remain in effect until Aug. 31. Sunflower meal is also subject to a 700,000 metric ton export quota.

The March 31 announcement came from Russia’s agriculture ministry. In a statement last week, the ministry said the sunflower oil quota would “maintain the stability” of domestic supply.

“With sharp growth in global prices for sunflower oil and oilseeds, there is currently increased demand for the Russian product,” the ministry said in its latest statement.

Russia and Ukraine are the world’s largest sunflower oil producers, per Reuters. The two nations typically supply 80% of the world’s sunflower seed oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended a number of food markets, including the global corn, soybean, and wheat industries. 

The sunflower industry has experienced consistent price increases since the invasion. 

Supply Management, the media branch of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, reported that the price of palm oil rose by 1,000% since late February as sunflower oil became less available.

“A balanced market with a mix of different available vegetable oils is crucial for a robust and resilient global market,” a spokesperson for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil told the outlet. “Ukraine is the largest exporter of sunflower oil and seed, and as the rise in demand for palm oil is accelerated by halted sunflower oil production in the Ukraine, it is crucial that we support the production and consumption of sustainable palm oil to prevent any further negative environmental and social impacts.”

Currently, crude sunflower oil from Russia is selling at $2,150 per metric ton. The weather in North America is now expected to have the most influence on the price of sunflower oil. 

The U.S. and Canada can fulfill some of this need and the market is giving the signal to plant sunflowers this year,” reports the Kiowa County Signal. “With the rise in new crop prices some producers are reassessing their crop mix for 2022 as sunflowers may now be the most profitable crop to grow this year.”

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