Brazil Imports 80% Of the Sunflower Oil Consumption


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Sunflower was introduced in southern Brazil by the end of the 19th century by European settlers and soon adapted to different climatic and soil conditions. The Sunflower crop has essential agronomic traits such as high tolerance to drought, especially in well-structured soils, and to cold and heat compared to most species cropped in Brazil. Furthermore, it can be cultivated from latitudes 33°S in Rio Grande do Sul to 5°N in Roraima. Due to its adaptation to a large production area, with different climate features in light intensity, temperature, and altitude, the crop cycle may vary from 80 to 130 days, depending on the cultivar and sowing date.

Because of its adaptive traits, much interest has been devoted to Sunflowers, mainly as an option for crop rotation or crop succession in grain producing areas, especially in the Brazilian Cerrado biome. This biome is predominantly located in Midwestern Brazil, south of the Equator, between the southern and eastern parts of the Amazon biome and the Tropic of Capricorn. This region is responsible for most of the Sunflower production in Brazil, as well as Soybean and Corn.

In Brazil, Sunflower is predominantly sown after a spring-summer crop, mainly after soybean harvesting. In this production system, producers use most of the production factors available (workforce, machinery, equipment, and land), which otherwise would lie idle. Besides reducing the idle period, Sunflower crop enhances the diversification of the production system, bringing some essential benefits to the property, such as increased revenue and cash flow, better use of the production factors, and better ecological balance of the production system.

Taking into account the characteristics of the grain production systems in Brazil, where two to three different crops are grown in a particular arrangement in the same area, and year, Sunflower planting dates vary considerably depending on the region, going from the extreme South, in the state of Rio Grande does Sul, to the Northern Hemisphere, in the state of Roraima. Nonetheless, the planting dates are determined by water availability to fulfill the crop water needs, mainly in crop succession systems in the Midwest region of Brazil, and by soil temperature, especially in the South region of the country.

In Brazil, Sunflower can be planted as the first crop, planted at the beginning of the rainy season (winter–spring) due to its tolerance to low temperatures in the early stages of growth, or can be planted as the second crop (summer–fall), because of its mechanisms of water deficit tolerance. In the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná, South region of Brazil, Sunflower is planted at the beginning of the rainy season, from July to October. Thus, a second crop, Soybean or Corn, can be planted in summer, immediately after Sunflower.

Sunflower monoculture cropping area was around 62.3 thousand hectares in the 2016 growing season, representing just 0.24% of the world production area, compared to the leading producers such as Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and Argentina, among others, countries that sum up over 25 million hectares. In Brazil, the most significant area was grown in the 2013/14 growing season (145.7 thousand hectares), driven by the interest in the newly built Oil industry in Mato Grosso.

Sunflower Oil Consumption in Brazil

Domestic consumption of Sunflower Oil in Brazil is 100,000 tons per year, and production accounts for 14,000 tons of conventional Sunflower Oil and 7,000 tons of high oleic Oil, destined for the food industry in Brazil. “Approximately 80% of production needs come from imports, which is why it is so important to develop this industry in the country to reduce external dependence on the need for this Oilseed”, explains Túlio Ribeiro Silva, Business Coordinator at Caramuru Alimentos, a leading Brazilian company in the processing of Soy, Corn, Sunflower, and Canola.

Other sources: OCL JOURNAL

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