India Buys Tons of Sunflower Oil From Argentina
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Until now, Sunflower has been the only crop of national importance in Argentina that did not receive cuts in the production estimate despite the country’s drought. Contrary to what happens with other grains, it is projected an expansion in the volume of harvest. According to the Grain Exchange of Buenos Aires (BCBA), in the current campaign, the surface destined for the Oilseed grew 17.6%, going from 1.7 million to 2 million hectares planted. At the same time, the production forecast was located at 3.9 million tons, which, if materialized, would represent an increase of 15%, equivalent to 500,000 tons.
Also, the crop’s state and water condition are far from the current situation of soybeans and corn. Thus, while only 25% of Sunflowers are in poor to normal conditions, in soybeans, that percentage reaches 56%, and in corn, it accounts for 45%. Regarding the water condition, 84% of the lots implanted with the Oilseed are between optimal and adequate, while in soybean, that percentage is located at 33%.
This good performance is due, on the one hand, to the fact that in large part of the areas where the crop occupies, such as the south and part of the west of Buenos Aires and the east of La Pampa, where more than 50% is concentrated, they had a better than other regions of the country and also due to specific characteristics that the plant possesses, such as more excellent resistance to dry conditions and its roots, which allow better access to soil moisture. As the head of Agricultural Estimates of the BCBA, Cecilia Conde, said, “The Sunflower has a root system with a great capacity for exploring the soil profile, which in other words means that “it has the deepest roots and that allows searching for more water.”
He also explained that “another mechanism in the face of drought is that of osmotic adjustment, which allows it to maintain leaf turgidity compared to other crops under conditions of high atmospheric demand. In other words, it can be said that it can reduce water consumption in dry periods losing turgor in the leaves”. This was one of the main reasons producers considered when deciding to plant Sunflowers instead of soybeans before the middle of last year, already knowing that a new Niña was approaching for this agricultural season.
Another factor that the producers considered is that it is a crop with lower production costs, while the international prices of Sunflower Oil. However, they are not those registered at the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine; they remain at historically high levels, averaging US$1,200 per ton. Conde considered that “perhaps, even more, would have been planted, but there was no seed availability in the country.”
As of late February, the harvest has already advanced by 23.5% of the 2 million hectares implanted. The works concluded in the two primary Sunflower nuclei of the north, such as the Northeast of Argentina (NEA) and the center-north of Santa Fe. So far, the average yield was 15.2 quintals per hectare (q/ha), below last year’s record of 20.4 q/ha, so this decrease is expected to be compensated when the harvest arrives from the south of the province of Buenos Aires.
Argentinian Sunflower Export
Regarding export expectations for this year, there is expected to be a drop in their value due to lower international prices. Thus, the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) estimated that the Sunflower complex would export US$1,756 million during 2023, US$122 million less than last year. According to AgFlow data, Argentina exported 43,950 tons of Sunseed Oil to India in Jan-March 2023, followed by Oman (5,550 tons), South Africa (4,500 tons), and Ecuador (2,484 tons).
Other sources: TELAM
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