Report Highlights: 

Bulgaria already exported its rapeseeds surplus with exports reaching 460,000 MT at the end-November. Planting of rapeseeds was completed on time but the planted area decreased and MY2015/2016 production may be lower. 

Sunflower exports to date in MY2014/2015 have been slower due to delayed harvest, growing local consumption and reluctant farm sales, however, it is still likely to exceed 1.0 MMT due to the good supply. The recent introduction of the first high-oleic programs for 2015 provokes high farmers’ interest. This, along with lower planted wheat area this fall, is likely to lead to higher sunflower area in MY2015/2016.

General Information: 

Weather 

September/October rains promised a good start for MY2015/2016 rapeseeds crop. Further field works in November, however, were challenging due to reoccurring rains and the cold spell. Adverse weather delayed sunflower harvest which was finalized only at the end of the month. 

Production and Supply 

Sunflower 

MY2014/2015 

Sunflower harvest was reported to be completed at end- November (99.2% of planted area was harvested) and 1.93 MMT were collected. Harvested area was adjusted slightly upward based on the latest MinAg data. 

MY2015/2016 

Farmers plan to expand sunflower area in the spring of 2015 (reportedly, to 800,000 HA) due to reduction in the wheat area which will free up more land. In late November, at least two companies introduced their first high-oleic sunflower programs for 2015 and enjoyed a high interest among farmers. There are more indications now that leading producers will start growing high oleic, and also confectionary sunflower which so far this year have enjoyed higher prices and stable demand. 

Rapeseed 

MY2015/2016 

According to industry sources, farmers reduced significantly planted area. Early area estimates by the industry show planted rapeseeds at 156,000 HA. 

Exports, Domestic Consumption and Stocks 

Sunflower 

MY2014/2015: According to the Ministry of Agriculture (MinAg) Grain and Feed Agency (GFA), exports from September 1 to November 28 were 318,000 MT (287,000 MT for the EU and 31,000 MT for third countries); this is 172,000 MT behind last year exports. Exports speeded up later in the year due to delayed harvest. Imports were at 17,769 MT (including 16,565 MT from the EU). 

Domestic consumption (September 1 – November 28) was at 168,000 MT which indicates higher local use. This includes crush as well as peeling of sunflower for confectionary purposes. The GFA projects annual domestic consumption for all purposes to reach 730,000 MT. Based on that, it forecasts potential exports of another 1.1 MMT or total sunflower exports to reach 1.3 MMT. However, it is very likely that if the growth in local consumption is sustained, it may reduce the export surplus. 

MY2013/2014: According to the World Trade Atlas, from October 1, 2013 to August 30, 2014 exports were 884,000 MT. The main export markets were the Netherlands, France, Turkey and Portugal. Imports were at 25,000 MT (Romania, Ukraine). This data differs from local data (GFA) which uses a marketing year starting September 1. The GFA reports imports for the marketing year at 39,000 MT and exports at 1,204,000 MT (984,000 for the EU); and local use for crush and seeds at 656,000 MT. Ending stocks were reported at 125,000 MT (end-August). 

Rapeseed 

MY2014/2015: According to the GFA, exports between July 1, 2014 and November 28, 2014 totaled 459,000 MT of which 405,000 MT went to the EU and 54,000 MT went to non-EU destinations. Imports were at 4,900 MT. Stocks as of end-November were at 9,000 MT, thus it is not likely the country to export more rapeseeds. Domestic consumption for the above period was estimated at 26,000 MT