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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Sunflower briefs: Oil hot commodity against other

USA,11/12/2001 (Soyatech)

SUNFLOWER OIL HOT COMMODITY:Sunflower oil is the hottest commodity in the market with values, inrelationship to other oils, not seen for many years. Sunflower oil valueshave increased by 15 percent over the last two weeks. The production ofsunflower has declined sharply this year in most countries. Now theArgentine plantings of sunflower are impacted by excessively wet soils.There is still time to plant sunflower in Argentina. However, mostanalysts are now anticipating little change from last year's lowproduction level.

ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT IN SUNFLOWER:Choline, identified as an essential nutrient by the National Academy ofSciences, is another important phytochemical identified in sunflowerseeds. Among plant based sources, sunflower and soybean have the highestconcentrations of choline. Choline is a critical element of the body'sneurotransmission system and necessary for memory and cognitive function,heart health and liver function. According to researcher Dr. KatherinePhillips of Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, a one-ounce serving ofsunflower seeds supplies 8 percent of the recommended 'Adequate Intake.'

HARVEST WRAPPED UP:The sunflower harvest is nearly complete in all states. Quality on thelatter half of the crop appears to have increased in test weight, oilcontent and yield in most producing states. A wide test weight and oilcontent variance within regions is considerable and unusual from pastyears. Oil type test weights vary from a low 23 to a high of 35.5 whileoil contents vary from a low of 30 to a high of 49.

MARKETS:Markets have taken a very interesting twist in the last several weeks withsunflower oil prices going much higher than other oils. This has beentalked about most of the summer after the dramatically reduced Argentinesunflower crop. In addition to being in short supply, sunflower oil is oneof the only non-GMO oils available in the world. For some customers inEurope and Japan that is important. The higher oil price is apparent incash sunflower prices. Last year at this time the LDP was $4.63 CWT. Todaythe LDP is $1.34 CWT and the Chicago oil board is only slightly higherthan last year.