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EU Turns to Argentina as Ukrainian Sunflower Oil Exports Halted

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Oil World, a Hamburg, Germany-based trade publication, says that global sunflower oil supplies are experiencing severe shortages as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict that has disrupted sunflower seed crushing in Ukraine and the export of sunflower oil, which has affected sunflower oil supplies in the EU, North Africa, the Middle East, India, China and other countries. Limited supplies of rapeseed, soya, palm and corn oil mean that there are limited quantities that can replace sunflower oil.

The EU imported 1.52 million tonnes of sunflower oil from Ukraine in the period October to December 2021, down from 2.16 million tonnes in the same period the previous year. Ukrainian sunflower oil accounted for 86% of the EU's total imports.

Argentina exported only 10,000 tonnes of sunflower oil to the EU during the same period. However, with the disruption of Ukrainian exports, EU demand for Argentine sunflower oil will soon increase.

Argentina is currently harvesting its sunflower crop. As of 2 March, the sunflower seed harvest was 30% complete, bringing the harvested output to 1.64 million tonnes. Argentine sunflower oil prices rose by US$500 to US$600 per tonne in the week to 3 March, as supplies from Argentina are limited. 800,000 tonnes of sunflower oil can be exported between January and September 2022, an increase of 100,000 tonnes year-on-year.

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