Overall the sunflower market has maintained its relative price strength from highs set this spring. This is largely due to sunflower not facing retaliatory tariffs from our trading partners and a tighter seed supply this marketing year. NuSun prices at the crush plants ended the week unchanged to up 10 cents, while high oleics were unchanged to up 25 cents this week. In comparison to last year at this same time nearby prices are 25 to 35 cents per cwt. higher at the ND crush plants. Something else to consider is storing seed for delivery after the first of the year. Premiums of 30 to 60 cents per cwt., depending on the month, are being offered at the ND crush plants as well. Birdfood prices have seen little movement in the past week. Harvest has begun in the sunflower production region with initial quality generally very good. Yields are being reported in the 1,500-2,700-pound range with some reports of non-irrigated yields over 3,300 pounds. Traders will keep anxiously watching yield trends as harvest continues. Warm and drier weather is forecast for the Northern Plains and should keep combines rolling in the days ahead. The trade will continue to digest the USDA October production report until the next production estimate is released in January. This report and harvest progress will be key to prices going forward.
The price discovery period is in progress for crop insurance policies for sunflower and will continue until October 31. Producers should watch the December CBoT soyoil contract as it will allow you to see how prices are tracking. The harvest price per pound for oil-type sunflowers is currently at 15.7 cents and confection sunflowers at 21.90 cents. This is unchanged from last Friday. The spring prices were 17.5 cents for oils and 23.7 cents for confections.
2019 new crop sunflower prices are out at the ND crush plants with cash and Act of God (AOG) contracts available. Something else to consider is the oil premiums that crush plants pay on sunflower. Sunflower is the only oilseed that pays premiums for oil content above 40%. Considering 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%; this pushes a contract with 45% oil content gross return 10% higher per cwt. The AOG $16.50 contract increases to $18.15 and the cash $17.00 contract moves up to $18.70.