Increase in EU sunflower area neutralized by poor yields
The war in Ukraine and the associated shortage of sunflower oil motivated many farmers in the European Union to sow more sunflowers in the spring of 2022.
The initially positive harvest prospects cannot be sustained, however, due to the dryness in many parts of Europe.
The continuing drought in Europe, especially in the eastern and southeastern regions, prompted the EU Commission to drastically lower the harvest estimate for sunflower seed.
At the end of July, Brussels anticipated a volume of 10.5 million metric tons, 636,600 tons less than the previous month. This would be only 200,000 tons, or 1 percent, more than in 2021.
Based on the estimated expansion in area to just less than 4.8 million hectares, which translates to an approximately 10 percent rise on the year, crop expectations were very optimistic at first.
The EU Commission assumed average yields to be at the previous year’s level of 2.38 tons per hectare.
However, the absence of rain and persisting drought in many parts of Europe have dashed these expectations.
The EU Commission is currently expecting yields in the amount of only 2.18 tons per hectare.