EU sunflower-seed harvest large, but not quite a record crop
In the EU-27, the 2021 harvest of sunflower seed was considerably larger than the previous year. It also far exceeded the long-term average. The 2017 record level, however, was not topped.
An estimated 10.3 million metric tons of sunflower seed was produced in the EU in 2021. This was a 14 percent rise over the previous year and translates to a 10 percent increase on the long-term average. The sunflower area was also expanded compared to the previous year, although only just under 1 percent to 4.5 million hectares, 7 percent more than the five-year average. The average yield amounted to 2.3 tons per hectare, which was a 13 percent growth on the weak previous year. In other words, this year’s yield fell just under 0.6 percent short of the long-term average.
According to investigations conducted by Agrarmarkt-Informationsgesellschaft (mbH), the significant rise in production was especially due to production increases in France, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia. With a growth of 0.8 million tons to around 3 million tons, Romania remains the largest producer of sunflower seed within the European Community, followed by Bulgaria, which produced 1.9 million tons. Mostly favorable weather conditions helped farmers bring in larger harvests, after lack of rain during the yield-forming period and torrential rain at harvest time had led to high harvest losses in Bulgaria and Romania the previous year. In contrast, the harvest in Hungary was presumably smaller than the previous year, as drought hampered yield formation during the vulnerable growing period.