The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) forecasts a massive export of sunflower seeds from Kazakhstan and a drop in prices if the export of one of the varieties is approved. This was reported to APK-Inform by the Association.
Earlier, Majilis deputy Yerlan Barlybayev, in a request addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerulan Zhamaubayev, stated the need to allow the export of sunflower seeds of the Pioneer variety. This was motivated by the fact that this variety is used exclusively in the confectionery industry and as such is exported to China.
At the same time, Kazakh sunflower oil producers assure that the Pioneer variety has a high oil content of 47% or more, which increases the demand for this category of seeds from oil refineries.
“For oil plants, this type of sunflower is the best option for high oil production. Indeed, for many years, oil refineries have been entering into forward contracts with agricultural producers, including providing them with sunflower seeds of the Pioneer variety. When processing sunflower, the profitability depends on the oil content of the seeds, the higher the oil content, the more profitable the processing. But the deputies, who did not even visit domestic oil plants, decided to draw their own conclusions at their own discretion. Moreover, sunflower oil producers were not directly invited to the meeting,” commented Yadykar Ibragimov, Chairman of the Board of NOPA.
To understand the needs of the confectionery industry, the Association monitored the confectionery factories of Kazakhstan that produce halva, gozinaki, and confectionery seeds. As a result, it turned out that the variety of sunflower seeds is unimportant for the confectionery industry, high-quality seeds with an oil content of 40% to 45%, large sizing and thin husks are needed.
Some manufacturers even stated that the Pioneer variety is not suitable for use in the confectionery industry, not only because of the high oil content, but also because of the small seeds, since most of the kernel practically breaks when crushed.
According to Yadykar Ibragimov, the initiative put forward by individual deputies to assign a separate HS code to the Pioneer sunflower variety will lead to the creation of a corruption scheme.
“It will be impossible to determine the type of exported raw materials at checkpoints, which will lead to mass shipments of Kazakhstani seeds, as well as to the gray re-export of Russian seeds. This, as we have repeatedly said, threatens to decrease the prices for sunflower seeds and, as a result, the majority of agricultural producers will suffer in the first place. Such a one-sided decision at the request of a deputy jeopardizes the task set by the head of state to prevent the growth of food inflation and further reduce it by half by the end of the year,” Y. Ibragimov stressed.
He noted that in 2023/24 MY, sunflower seed production in Ukraine is forecasted to further decline (according to preliminary estimates, the planting area will be halved compared to the pre-war period), and planting area and yields are forecasted to reduce in Russia due to problems with the import of highly productive seeds (yield may drop by 15-22%). The oilseed production may also decline in Europe and Turkey. All this will affect the pricing of sunflower oil at global ports, in connection with this, sharp and significant price fluctuations are possible, which will also affect the Central Asian market.
As APK-Inform reported, in February 2023, Kazakhstan has introduced an export duty on sunflower seeds.