TOP 10 Sunflower Producing Countries in 2019

Ukraine exported a record volume of sunflower oil in April 2020. For the first time since the independence, 717 thou. t of the product was supplied to foreign markets. The rating below features the major producers of this oilseed crop in 2019.

The total sunflower area in the world in 2019 according to Kleffmann Group was 26 mln ha. The five leaders in terms of sown area planted 18.9 mln ha, accounting for 69% of all crops worldwide (mln ha):

  • Russia: 8.0
  • Ukraine: 6.2
  • Argentina: 1.7
  • Romania: 1.7
  • China: 1.3

Serbia is the absolute leader in terms of yield in 2019 — 3.0 t/ha, China follows with 2.6 t/ha, having slightly overtaken Turkey with 2.4 t/ha. Ukraine and Moldova both rank fourth with a yield of 2.3 t/ha.

Sunflower production in Ukraine and worldwide (click for full resolution)

Over a decade, the global production of sunflower has increased by 80% to 55 mln t. Ukraine, which accounts for 30% of world production, ranks first. The country's volumes have surged by 159% within ten years. The share of Russia (28%), the EU countries (17%) and Argentina (6%) is slightly less.

Romania demonstrated the highest growth rate — in ten years the volume of sunflower production almost tripled.

TOP five sunflower producers in 2019 (mln t):

  • Ukraine: 16.5
  • Russia: 15.3
  • Argentina: 3.3
  • Romania: 3.3
  • China: 3.3

The world sunflower oil production has scaled up by 78% to 21.2 mln t in ten years. In 2019/20, the product production leaders are Ukraine — 7.1 mln t (+162%) and Russia — 5.8 mln t (+111%).

Vegetable oil industry in Ukraine (click for full resolution)

Sunflower export

According to the latest USDA data, within nine years — from 2010/11 to 2019/20 — the total volume of sunflower trade has intensified by more than 1.5x. Exports of sunflower seeds in 2019/20 totals 3.2 mln t. At the same time, sunflower oil exported volume has reached 11.6 mln t, making more than half of the world production.

Volodymyr Demchuk, analyst

Production, mln t
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Производство, млн т: 16,5

Доля в мире, %: 30

Площадь, млн га : 6,2

Урожайность, т/га: 2,3

Sunflower is one of the most popular crops in Ukraine, occupying 1/5 of all cultivated areas. In ten years the production of sunflower has more than doubled, and since 2012 Ukraine remains the world's leader.

Almost all raw materials are processed domestically, thus making the country a leader in sunflower oil production and export. Since the start of 2019/20, 6.4 mln t of sunflower oil has been exported.

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Производство, млн т: 15,3

Доля в мире, %: 28

Площадь, млн га : 8,0

Урожайность, т/га: 1,6

Russia stands out as a leader in sunflower sown areas, but with low yields, it is the world's second-largest producer.

The share of its exports on a global scale is not high since most of the sunflower yield is processed domestically into sunflower oil (3.1 mln t) and meal (1.9 mln t).

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Производство, млн т: 3,3

Доля в мире, %: 6

Площадь, млн га : 1,7

Урожайность, т/га: 2,1

Sunflower is a traditional oilseed crop in Argentina. Over the past five years, the country has increased production of sunflower by 61% to 3.3 mln t. In 2019/20, the country produced a total of 1.3 mln t of meal and sunflower oil, nearly half of which was exported.

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Производство, млн т: 3,3

Доля в мире, %: 6

Площадь, млн га : 1,7

Урожайность, т/га: 2,4

Over the past decade, compliance with sunflower cultivation technologies has had a positive impact, Romania has more than doubled its sunflower production (+124%) and harvested 4.2 mln t in 2019/20. In the last few years, it has been increasing domestic processing.

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Производство, млн т: 3,3

Доля в мире, %: 6

Площадь, млн га : 1,3

Урожайность, т/га: 2,6

Sunflower seed production in China demonstrates significant growth: it has increased by 66% in ten years. Until 2015, there was an increase in the sown area. The bulk of sunflower seed is processed domestically, which is justified by the high cost of raw materials transportation.

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Производство, млн т: 1,8

Доля в мире, %: 3

Площадь, млн га : 0,7

Урожайность, т/га: 2,4

In 2010-20, Turkey has significantly upsized production of seeds, which more than doubled (+119%), sunflower oil (+102%), meal (+43%). Since last year, imports of sunflower seed to Turkey have dropped by 26%, but it still remains the leader among importing countries. In 2019/20, Turkey is also one of the key importers of meal (0.95 mln t) and sunflower oil (0.55 mln t).

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Производство, млн т: 1,7

Доля в мире, %: 3

Площадь, млн га : 0,8

Урожайность, т/га: 2,4

Sunflower production in Bulgaria has declined by 6% in the last two years due to an 11% reduction in cultivated area, although this was partially offset by high yields. Bulgaria is enhancing its domestic processing capacity, which has resulted in less raw material being exported. The main markets are the EU and Turkey.

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Производство, млн т: 1,7

Доля в мире, %: 3

Площадь, млн га : 0,6

Урожайность, т/га: 2,7

Among oilseed crops, sunflower ranks first in Hungary — over 60% of areas. As in other European countries, in recent years there has been a reduction in areas under the crop, which has led to a 16% drop in production or 0.32 mln t.

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Производство, млн т: 1,3

Доля в мире, %: 2

Площадь, млн га : 0,6

Урожайность, т/га: 2,2

Over the past two years, sunflower production has regressed by 19%. This is due to the reduction of cultivated areas and is accompanied by a rapid import growth rate since 2014. Argentina is the largest supplier of sunflower seeds to France.

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Производство, млн т: 1,0

Доля в мире, %: 2

Площадь, млн га : 0,5

Урожайность, т/га: 1,9

In ten years, US sunflower production has gone down by 26%. Sunflower was one of the first crops cultivated in the USA. Over 86% of it is produced in the states of South and North Dakota, Kansas and Colorado. At the same time, the volume of exports during this time has progressed by 21% and in 2019 reached USD 299 mln.

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