We are still in the price discovery process for 2018 crop insurance price elections. Currently, oil type sunflowers are at $17.50 and confections are $23.70 per cwt. To follow sunflower price election trends, watch the 2018 CBoT December soyoil contract through February 28. Final price elections will be announced in early March. Traders also got a reminder about the potential for an increase in soybean acres this spring, when USDA released its 10-year baseline projections for agriculture this week. While the forecasts didn't include anything new about 2018 planting intentions, it reinforced the idea that soybean acres could increase significantly. USDA will update its statistical guesses at its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum next week. Traders will pay close attention to USDA’s expectations for 2018 planted acres, supply & demand outlooks along with ending stocks figures. This will give the market some numbers to crunch ahead of the March reports. Traders will also continue to focus on South America weather reports and crop prospects as February is the critical month for oilseed development. The dollar weakness continues to provide a nice tailwind for commodities. The dollar hit its lowest level in more than three years this week. Recent Mexican purchases of 5,000 MT of US sunflower oil are attributed to a more favorable dollar exchange rate. Confection in-shell seed and kernel exports are ahead of last year’s pace at this point in the market year as well.
New crop sunflower prices are out at the crush plants with cash and Act of God (AOG) contracts available. Something else to consider is the oil premiums that are offered at the crush plants on oil content above 40% at a rate of 2% price premium for each 1% of oil above 40%.