Ukrainian Sunflower Oil Production Threatened by Energy Infrastructure Attacks: Analysts Warn of Potential Shortages and Price Pressures

Palm Oil (CPO)

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According to analysts from the Pusk analytical cooperative under the Ukrainian Agrarian Council, continued Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure may force Ukrainian sunflower oil producers to suspend operations. This threat arises as most crushing plants rely on electricity, and switching to diesel generators is economically unfeasible due to increased production costs. As a result, if the shelling persists, some refineries might halt production due to electricity shortages, prioritizing household supply over industrial needs.

Moreover, the shortage of sunflower seeds in Ukraine, exacerbated by April's exports mainly to Romania and Bulgaria, could lead to potential shortages of sunflower oil in May and June. Despite this, the analysts believe that global trends, such as decreasing prices for vegetable oils like soybean and palm oil, may offset the impact on prices within Ukraine. They note that the current processing margins generate minimal profits, around $10-15 per tonne, indicating a downward pressure on prices. Additionally, they suggest that as vegetable oil prices decline, sunflower prices are likely to follow suit, with the current price range hovering around UAH 16,600 per tonne but with a potential limit of UAH 15,300-15,500 per tonne. Thus, they advise monitoring vegetable oil prices as an indicator of future developments in the sunflower market.