KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine has become the number one sunflower oil producer and exporter in the world, reports Erste Bank. In 2010 Ukraine produced 3.3 million tons of sunflower oil, having exported over 90 percent of this amount. The country is now producing the same volume of sunflower oil as the whole Soviet Union, according to the Director of the Ukrainian association of the producers of the vegetable oils Ukroilprom, Stepan Kapshuk.
The Ukrainian sunflower oil market has been growing steadily in the current year. Compared to the first quarter of 2010, the volume of the Ukrainian sunflower oil exported in the first three months of 2011increased by 40 percent.
The top consumer of Ukrainian sunflower oil is India – the country acquires around one quarter of the annual Ukrainian sunflower oil export, according to Ukragroconsult. Also, Ukraine exports large volume of sunflower oil to Turkey, Egypt, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Spain, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Georgia.
Suffice it to say that in 2009 Ukraine exported little over 1 million tons of sunflower oil that constituted over a half of world’s sunflower oil export – namely, 54 percent, according to Ukragroconsult. By the end of 2010 Ukraine reached the 57 percent share in the global sunflower oil export.
More than a decade ago Ukraine began stimulating its sunflower oil producing industry by introducing export tax for the sunflower seeds. This created notable incentives for the domestic sunflower oil producers to boost sunflower oil production inside the country instead of exporting the raw product to the foreign processing plants. Since then, Ukraine has been gradually decreasing the export tax.
Sunflower oil production in Ukraine started in the middle of the 19th century. The environmental conditions and terrain characteristics of the country allow for the cultivation of the sunflower across the entire territory of Ukraine.
The world sunflower oil market is currently growing to compensate for a decline of the rapeseed supply. On this market Ukraine is competing with the long-established leaders – Argentina and Russia. While Russia is increasing its sunflower seeds production and thus creates the potential for the boost of its sunflower oil production, Argentina is facing the ongoing problems with draught and the confrontation between the farmers and local government.