Downstream demand turned seasonally weak over the holidays, falling from December highs. Operating rates at cable makers have come off from Q4 levels with little visibility on order books. While a dip was expected, the contrast to last year’s highs was greater than usual and added to the sense of nervousness.
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Sunflower oil is healthy and natural edible oil known for its light and odorless characters. Rich in Vitamin E sunflower oil is derived from sunflower seed carrying nearly 45-50% oil content. A native of South Africa and North America sunflower is now grown all over thew world.
Sunflower seed extractions are widely used as protein material for animal feed. Indian sunflower seed extractions contain about 30% crude protein with 30% fibre. Although sunflower protein is low in lysine, methionime & cystine levels are favourable to meet poultry feed requirements. It is superior to most vegetable proteins in digestibility.
Recent development of various enzyme preparations, which can act upon fibre in sunflower meal, making it more digestible, can result in an economical substitute for various protein sources. Thus it can be used at higher levels in the poultry feed.
Global sunflower seed output is estimated around 25 million tons with the CIS region dominating production. Argentina, Eastern Europe, and European Union are the other major producers. Global sunflower oil output is estimated at 10 million tons with over 80% of sunflower seed used for crushing to make oil.
Global demand of sunflower oil is also estimated to be on par with output. Global trade in sunflower oil is estimated to be around 3.5 million tons. Argentina, Hungary, CIS region are leading exporters while Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, Spain are main importers.
World sunflowerseed production in 2003/4 was forecast to rise by 7.6% to 25.73 million metric tons from 23.92 million.
Despite the higher production level, demand was strong and stocks in 2003/4 were forecast to drop 8% to 830,000 metric tons.
The world’s largest producer of sunflowerseeds is the former Soviet Union with 37% of the crop in 2003/4, followed by Argentina (13%), Eastern Europe (12%), and the European Union (10%).
World production of sunflowerseed oil rose 8% to 9.03 million metric tons from 8.37 million in 2002/3. US production of sunflowerseeds in 2003/4 was forecast at 1.19 million metric tons, up 5.3% from 1.13 million 2002/3.