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High-oleic sunflower production comes up short

High-oleic sunflower production is way down in Ukraine, and that presents a marketing opportunity for Canada’s high-oleic canola growers, says an industry official.

UkrAgroConsult is reporting that Ukraine’s high-oleic sunflower acres are down 55 percent in 2022-23 compared to last year. The country’s sunflower harvest is just wrapping up.

Ukraine is the world’s leading supplier of high-oleic sunflower oil, followed by Russia.

John Jansen, vice-president of strategic partnerships with the United Soybean Board (USB), said his contacts in Europe don’t think the situation is as dire as UkrAgroConsult is reporting.

“We don’t forecast anywhere near 50 (percent),” he said.

“Maybe we are behind the curve on that or don’t have the appropriate visibility.”

The USB believes acres are down about 15 percent compared to normal in Ukraine, and exports may be about 20 percent below the usual volumes.

However, he noted that exports out of Russia are also expected to be down about 30 percent due to international sanctions, so combined it’s still a big blow to the global supply of high-oleic oils.

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