EU sunflower area expected to expand
The European Commission anticipates a significant increase in sunflower-planted area for the 2022 harvest to a potential new record. The main reason is the expected expansion in production area for the most important sunflower-producing countries in the EU.
According to the EC’s forecast, the EU sunflower area for harvest in 2022 amounts to around 11.6 million acres. This would translate to a 491,740-acre rise over the previous year. It would just exceed the 2013 peak of nearly 11.4 million acres. In view of an unclear situation for sowing and growing sunflowers in Ukraine due to the continued war, this is an important signal for the market supply of European oil mills.
Romania remains the biggest sunflower producer in the EU in terms of area. The country expects an increase of 138,379 acres to around 3.2 million acres. It is followed by Bulgaria in second place with a currently projected area of 2.16 million acres. The acreage is seen to expand 4.4 percent. According to the latest information published by the EC, France will likely also record a 4.4 percent rise in area to 1.8 million acres. The sunflower acreage in Hungary is expected to increase 71,660 acres or 4.5 percent on the previous year to nearly 1.7 million acres.
In Spain, sunflower production is also forecast to expand 4.5 percent compared to the previous year to 1.6 million acres. According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (mbH), Germany is expecting a larger increase—though at a low level. The area under sunflowers will probably expand 5.3 percent to 98,842 acres.
In its outlook for 2022, the EC has forecast yields at an overall average of 0.96 metric tons per acre. This translates to an almost 2 percent rise year-on-year. The highest per-acre yields are expected to be reached in Hungary. At presumably 1.2 tons per acre, Hungarian yields could exceed the previous year’s level by more than 14 percent.