Global supply chains are yet again being tested among the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. One industry that has seen a large impact has been the sunflower seed industry. Combined, Russia and Ukraine export 76% of global sunflower supplies, and because the ongoing war has limited exports out of Black Sea ports, importers have been forced to look elsewhere for supplies.
Turkey, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Belarus, China, and Romania are major buyers of Russian sunflower seeds, and China, Turkey, India, and Egypt are the top buyers of Russian sunflower seed oil. Russia is the largest exporter of sunflower seeds and the second-largest exporter of sunflower seed oil, giving its actions outsize influence on vegetable oil markets. Russia said it enacted the trade restrictions to help control domestic prices. Due to these restrictions, demand for sunflower supplies in the US and other countries has soared.
Russia’s new sunflower product export restrictions are just its latest efforts to control high domestic food prices. In March, Russia imposed fresh restrictions on grain exports.
While the industry is shifting to farmers, suppliers, and producers that can meet the demand, product shortages and prices spikes will be felt in the months to come.