U.S. Confection Exports
The U.S. continues to be the dominant supplier of confection sunflower in-shell and kernel worldwide. Recognized as having the highest quality, U.S. processors of confection sunflower have developed technology that currently surpasses any other supplier in both volume capacity and quality control standards. Several of the domestic processing plants have gone through major renovations. Some have added processing facilities to provide specific consumer requirements such as roasting and flavoring. 

The quality control of confection sunflower in the U.S. starts on the farm. Confection sunflower planting in the U.S. is largely done on a contract basis. This contracting functions as a control for quantity and quality. Growers have learned to produce a better quality product through good management practices. The pattern is to generate a higher value product through quality production and processing and to give the consumer a broad choice of raw, semi-processed and fully processed products.

Spain, Mexico and Turkey are the most prominent customers for U.S. confection in-shell sunflower products. Spain is the largest market for confection sunflower, importing both confection sunflower in-shell for traditional snack food and sunflower kernel. Sunflower kernel in Spain is sold roasted and salted as a snack, raw for home use and as an ingredient in food products including bread and confectionery products. Mexico imports both confection sunflower in-shell and sunflower kernel as well. In-shell is used as a snack and kernel as an ingredient in bakery and snack products. Turkey remains an important export destination for U.S. confection sunflower seeds. Confection sunflower seed is a traditional and popular snack in Turkey and the surrounding region. In Canada, sunflower kernel is used as a food ingredient and for snack foods.
Kernel
U.S. Confection Sunflower Exports
Top Ten Markets from 2015/16
and Comparison to 2013/14, 2014/15
October 1 - September 30
Country 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Country Share of U.S. Exports 2015/16* Current Year Exports 10/16-12/16
Canada 3,473 4,015 3,077 37% 1,010
Mexico 1,183 2,167 1,532 18% 698
Korea 1,208 2,397 1,427 17% 601
Spain 2,137 2,031 886 10% 36
United Kingdom 205 0 406 5% 25
Germany 673 246 371 4% 109
Jordan 0 39 136 2% 0
Japan 184 53 132 1% 37
Singapore 76 88 109 1% 18
Ecuador 21 75 65 1% 14
Other 1,394 588 313 4% 104
TOTAL 10,554 11,699 8,454 100% 2,652
Shipping Weight in Metric Tons
* By volume/kernel only
In-Shell
U.S. Confection Sunflower Exports
Top Ten Markets from 2015/16
and Comparison to 2013/14, 2014/15
October 1 - September 30
Country 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 Country Share of U.S. Exports 2015/16 Current Year Exports 10/16-12/16
Spain 23,031 20,593 20,560 33% 4,248
Mexico 9,932 8,203 12,747 20% 2,417
Iraq 504 3,379 7,992 13% 0
Turkey 10,064 4,506 5,626 9% 1,080
Jordan 4,889 3,286 2,883 5% 524
Egypt 2,096 1,959 2,363 4% 182
Greece 1,658 1,513 1,852 3% 394
Israel 3,966 2,472 1,531 2% 1,041
Romania 1,735 1,393 1,135 2% 140
Korea 471 545 707 1% 161
Other 11,223 8,823 4,911 8% 884
TOTAL 69,569 56,672 62,307 100% 11,071
Shipping weight in metric tons
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