Business is booming for the Spanish sunflower industry thanks to Ukraine crisis

Business is booming for the Spanish suflower industry thanks to Ukraine Crisis

At the beginning of the 21st century, the sunflower industry became an extremely lucrative business in Spain, but everything began to change around a decade ago, when imports of sunflower seeds from Russia and Ukraine, whose climate is better suited for the growing of sunflowers, to flood the Spanish market.

The sunflower was traditionally a crop in Spain that was only suitable for the southern climate. However, new varieties, more resistant to the colder and rainier climate of the north of the peninsula, appeared and the oilseed began to fill the fields of the two Castilian regions and even made an appearance in the Basque Country and La Rioja.

In an article published by 20minutos, 58-year-old Ramón García, provincial secretary of the Coordinating Body of Farmers’ and Stockbreeders’ Organisations (COAG) stated:  

“Sunflowers had very good prices because the CAP subsidy (the funds from the European Common Agricultural Policy) – went directly into the price and the crop was very profitable with very low costs. But then shipments of foreign imports began to arrive in the ports of Malaga, Cadiz and even Seville and it hurt us a lot, many companies closed down,”

The current Ukraine Crisis, which has seen an escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a major boost in sales in the sunflower industry, used to produce oil and animal feed, after almost a decade of sharp decline of sales.

“There are important companies from here, from Andalusia, already making arrangements to contract for next summer, but the farmer has the dilemma of whether to contract now or wait. We don’t like to speculate, we are not speculators, but we don’t like to make fools of ourselves either”, García stated.

“Nobody is celebrating the war, but in the countryside we have always said that one man’s misfortune is another man’s good fortune”, García added. “When there has been a drought in an important area such as  Australia, this is noticed in the market, just as when we have had a drought, others have taken advantage of the good prices”.

Ignacio López, head of international relations for the Young Farmers’ Agrarian Association (Asaja) stated:

“The price of sunflowers has shot up recently, operations are being carried out at 800-odd euros (per tonne) and it is estimated that it could easily reach 1000 euros, this could also become an incentive for farmers who can say: ‘It compensates despite the increase in costs. The price of sunflower is skyrocketing, operations are being carried out at 800-odd euros (per tonne) and it is estimated that it could easily reach 1000 euros”.

“We have 2.2 million hectares between fallow land and areas of ecological interest in Spain, but the Ministry of Agriculture estimates that it could be around 600,000 hectares that are finally put into production,” added López.

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at