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Sunflower Briefs

Saturday, January 6, 2018
filed under: Sunflower Briefs

Exports of Sun Oil, Kernels & In-Shells Rise
       Exports of sunflower oil, kernel and in-shells got off to a strong start in the first month (October) of the 2017/18 marketing year. Sunflower oil exports were up from 2,243 metric tons (MT) in October 2016 to 3,168 MT in October of 2017. Canada remains the top importer of U.S. sunflower oil; in the first month of this marketing year, Canada imported 1,995 MT of sunflower oil — up from 1,640 MT during the same time period a year ago.                  
       Exports of confection sunflower, both in-shell and kernel, are up as well. In October 2017, 4,776 MT of in-shell sunflower were exported, up from 3,918 MT during the same time period last year. Mexico and Spain are the top importers of in-shell sunflower.
       Exports of U.S. kernel were up from 819 MT during October 2016 to 1,069 MT in October 2017. Canada and Mexico are the leaders in kernel imports, with Canada importing 384 MT in October 2017 and Mexico 210 MT.
USDA End-of-Year Production & Stocks Surveys                                
       The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has encouraged producers to respond to two current surveys – the December Agricultural Survey and the County Agricultural Production Survey – that are critical to row-crop producers around the country. Results of the surveys help determine the structure of the 2017 farm payment and risk management programs administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency.
       The County Agricultural Production Survey was sent to 170,000 row-crop producers beginning November 3. Responses are due by January 15, 2018, and NASS will publish county-level results for corn, soybeans, sunflower and sorghum on February 22 in the Quick Stats database. These county-level data are critical for USDA farm payment determinations.
       The December Agricultural Survey went to 84,000 producers beginning November 29. Responses were due by December 21, 2017, with NASS to publish results in the Crop Production 2017 Summary report on January 12, 2018. Information collected in this survey also feeds into the county estimates for row crops. The survey additionally asked about grain stocks stored on-farm.
Jirik New Director of Northern Crops Institute
       The Northern Crops Institute (NCI), based at Fargo, N.D., has hired Mark Jirik as director. Jirik replaces Mark Weber, who is retiring from NCI in December after serving as director for six years. Jirik holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University. He has more than 17 years of experience in commodity merchandising and commercial management with Cargill.
SunOpta Moves All Production to Crookston                                                
       SunOpta Inc., a leading global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and specialty foods, announced in early December that it is making a significant investment in its roasted snacks operations at its facility in Crookston, Minn. In conjunction with the investment, customers and capabilities from its Wahpeton, N.D., roasting facility will be consolidated into the Crookston location, and operations at the Wahpeton location are anticipated to cease during the second fiscal quarter of 2018. “These investments further the company’s ongoing commitment to produce food products of the highest quality and safety for its customers and are expected to provide significant operational efficiencies as part of the company’s ongoing portfolio optimization strategy and Value Creation Plan,” SunOpta stated in a press release.
Arca Acquires Deep River Snacks
       Arca Continental, parent company of Wise Snacks, has acquired Deep River Snacks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. With annual sales of approximately $45 million, Deep River, Conn.-based Deep River Snacks manufactures premium better-for-you snacks, including kettle cooked potato chips, baked crisps, popcorn and Honchos organic seasoned tortilla chips. The company’s product portfolio is made with non-GMO ingredients, certified gluten-free, vegetarian, kosher, nut-free and cooked exclusively in sunflower oil. Arca Continental, which is also the second largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America, will add Deep River Snacks to its portfolio of U.S. snack brands, including Wise Snacks, Si Senor and La Abeja. Arca is also the parent company of Bokados snacks in Mexico and Inalecsa snacks in Ecuador. 
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