Sunflower Oil Summit - Ukrainian-Chinese dialogue on trade and technologies





On July 10-12, 2017, APK-Inform Agency and the International Sunflower Oil Association (ISOA) held a large-scale industry event in Odessa, Ukraine - the second International "Sunflower Oil Summit: Science & Industry". The Summit aimed to put together many leading market participants of both commercial and technological segments, and highlight the most topical issues on development of the international market of sunflower oil. Also, within frames of the Summit the organizers provided distribution of the international award of ISOA "Quality and innovation" to several leading companies-producers of sunflower oil from Ukraine, China and Moldova.


Delta Wilmar became the General sponsor of the second Summit, and the following companies also sponsored the event: Syngenta, Cotecna, Mimier Trade, Global Ocean Link, Stark Shipping and the Chinese company Carepal. Olir Resources LLC became the Exclusive Sponsor of the conference.

As a reminder, the first international summit was successfully held in Shanghai (China) in October 2015, and became the first conference event in Asia, which focused exclusively on sunflower oil, and brought together nearly 300 delegates (representatives of Chinese companies formed one third of the audience). During two recent years, the interest in sunflower oil on the market of the People's Republic of China continued increasing, which logically resulted in the idea of holding the Summit in Ukraine.

So, the second Summit was held under the guidance of visiting of a delegation of Chinese consumers of sunflower oil to Ukraine. The Chinese delegation included more than 60 importers and processors of sunflower oil from Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao and other regions of China. There were representatives of both public companies and organizations (CCOA, CCEC, Sinopharm) and private ones (Wilmar, Shanghai Xinyue Grain&Oil Co, Inner Mongolia Yitai Ecological Agriculture Co., Carepal). Generally, nearly 400 participants of the sunflower oil market (both veg oil traders and producers, and technologists) from Ukraine, China, Spain, Moldova, Italy, Turkey and other countries, arrived to the Summit. Also, the second international Summit had another important feature - in the current year, the event was more comprehensive, and divided into several parts for different segments of the sunflower oil market. Thus, on July 10 the event agenda provided the following activities:

- visiting of fields with blooming sunflower and a photo shoot for the Chinese delegation (under support and active involvement of Syngenta). It is hard to describe almost childish excitement of Chinese guests from visiting demonstration fields with blooming sunflower!


- a tour to the laboratory of Cotecna and discussion of quality issues of Ukrainian sunflower oil with representatives of the company and market participants;

- Board of Directors of the International Sunflower Oil Association (ISOA,, which summed up its activities in the first half of 2017, and developed its work schedule for the second half year;

- ethno-dinner in Ukrainian style for the Chinese guests and sponsors (even the most serious Chinese professors "set on fire" with Ukrainian music motifs!).



On the following day of the Summit, on July 11 there was the main sessional part of the conference. The first part of the sessional agenda contained reports by the leading experts of the Ukrainian and Chinese markets of sunflower oil. The General Director at the association Ukroliyaprom, Stepan Kapshuk became one of the key speakers of the Summit. In his report S.Kapshuk reminded that during 18 recent years, Ukraine increased the annual production of sunflower oil in 13.3 times, from 432.8 thsd tonnes in the season-1998/99, to 5.65 mln tonnes expected in 2017/18 MY. As for the export growth rates of the product from Ukraine in the same period, the figures are even more impressive, starting from 206.1 thsd tonnes in 1998/99 MY, to 5.2 mln tonnes expected in a new season. Thus, the export growth will reach 24.7 times, S.Kapshuk added.



Also, the demand for Ukrainian sunflower oil on the global market contributed to increase in the production of sunflower seed in Ukraine in 1998/99-2017/18 MYs, from 2.26 mln tonnes to expected 13.5 mln tonnes, or up almost 6 times. The reporting indicators allow to Ukraine to remain the largest global country-exporter of sunflower oil in 2016/17 MY, with its market share of nearly 33.1%, which is significantly higher compared with the following exporters as Russia (24%) and the EU (18.5%), the expert said.

At the same time, the oilseed market expert at APK-Inform Agency, Viktoria Zelenaya reported about the situation on the Ukrainian market of sunflower oil in the current season. The forecast of crude sunflower oil exports from Ukraine in July-August of 2016/17 MY totaled nearly 0.65 mln tonnes, up 4% compared with the same period of the previous season. Thus, in the whole season Ukraine will supply nearly 5.6 mln tonnes of the product on foreign markets, the expert stressed. Also, V.Zelenaya specified that in terms of development of such high rates of shipments, APK-Inform analysts expected for further increasing of the export figures in the remaining months of the season.

To date, China is the second largest country-importer of Ukrainian sunflower oil (after India), which share covers nearly 13-14% of the shipment volumes from Ukraine, reported a representative of Agritel International, Mikhail Ponomarenko during his presentation at the Summit. China is a very important trading partner of Ukraine, because it takes a significant share in the global structure of agricultural imports. Therefore, China has rather strong influence on the export prices formation for sunflower oil, and any negative changes in the Chinese economy, such as national currency fluctuations or declining of the GDP growth, will immediately impact on the price, the expert noted.



In particular, the increasing purchasing power of the population and, as a result, the desire to buy more expensive and less harmful products, caused the significant growth of the Chinese imports of sunflower oil in recent years. After analyzing of the statistics of vegetable oils consumption for the food industry during 10 recent years, China decreased the consumption of palm oil by 11%, while the figures for sunflower grew by 375%. Of course, the quantitative changes are not so significant, and they totaled nearly +0.9 mln tonnes only, but the market expects that in 2017/18 MY China will import almost 1 mln tonnes of sunflower oil, the speaker said.



At the end of the first session, the President of the International Sunflower Oil Association (ISOA), Xu Xuebing presented the awards ISOA "Quality and innovation" to 10 companies: a company from China (Wilmar), a company from Moldova - Floarea Soarelui, and several Ukrainian enterprises (Vioil, Delta Wilmar, Pology Oil Extraction Plant, Nizhynsky fat-and-oil complex, Gradoliya, Mironivsky Hliboproduct (MHP), Melitopol oil extraction plant, Oliyar). During one month, the enterprises sent applications for participation in the competition, and specified what innovations and know-hows they established to improve the quality of products, how actively the companies cooperate with institutions, how much attention is given to training and education of process personnel, etc. As a result, the ISOA commission selected 10 winners from nearly 40 applications received from four countries, and present the Summit awards.




The second session of the Summit on July 11 divided the event audience into two segments, commercial and technological ones. Each segment received its special agenda. Thus, nearly 70 technologists and scientists from Ukraine, the USA, China, Turkey and Moldova participated in the technical session, which provided a useful exchange of scientific and practical knowledge about new technologies for sunflower oil production and processing. Dr. Nurhan Turgut Dunford, Member of the ISOA Board, became a moderator of the technical session. She is an internationally known expert on scientific and research technologies in the sunflower oil segment. Her experience as an engineer and scientist encompasses over 30 years, including relevant positions in Turkey, Canada, and the USA. She is currently a professor at Oklahoma State University in the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department. Also, Dr. Dunford is on staff at the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center as the oil and oilseed specialist. At the Summit, Dr. Nurhan Dunford made a report for technologists about sunflower oil innovations "Processing: application of biotechnology".



On the third day of the Summit, July 12, event participants were able to visit one of the best companies in the industry - Delta Wilmar plant, and get acquainted with its work.

Despite a very highly-charged agenda and complicated logistics, participants of the second international Summit were satisfied with the event. Therefore, the organizers can declared with evident pride that the Summit achieved the stated objectives - presented the Ukrainian market of sunflower oil to foreign guests, contributed to improvement of trade relations between Ukraine and China, as well as brought together the interests of technological and commercial segments of the sunflower oil market. We are looking forward to welcoming you at our following events in the autumn 2017!


Svitlana Synkovska, APK-Inform Agency / ISOA