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Fresh Produce

South African Sunflower Seeds Reach Record On Stockpile Concern

South African sunflower seeds reached a record on concern that low stockpiles will erode supplies needed to meet demand. Soybean futures rose.

Sunflower seeds for delivery in March rose as much as 1.3 per cent to 7,960 rand ($493) a metric tonne on the South African Futures Exchange, the highest level since at least February 1999. They were unchanged at 7,860 rand by the midday close in Johannesburg.

Prices have climbed 13 per cent this year amid lower inventories and the worst drought in more than a century. The nation’s sunflower seed stockpiles totaled 108,000 tonnes by the end of December, down 45 per cent from a year earlier, according to Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG. The country processes about 60,000 tonnes of the seeds a month, he said.

“We are very tight on stock levels,” Andrew Fletcher, an independent trader in Kroonstad, South Africa, said by phone. “Of the 108,000 tonnes at the beginning of the year, 60,000 could have been used in January.”

Sunflower production will probably fall about 6 per cent this year to 622,000 tons, Crop Estimates Committee data showed on Jan. 27.

Soybeans for delivery in March rose 1.1 per cent to 6,875.20 rand a tonne. White corn for July delivery lost 0.3 per cent to 4,945 rand a tonne, while the yellow variety for the same delivery month also declined 0.3 per cent to 3,570 rand a tonne.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazineclick here.

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