Food - Drink
Most Of The World's Sunflower Seeds Come From These 2 Countries
The sunflower is not only beautiful, but also produces sunflower seeds, one of the most popular and enduring snacks in the world. Roasted sunflower seeds are popular in North America, Asia, and other regions, but the two countries that produce the most seeds per year are in Europe — and happen to be at war with each other.
Russia and Ukraine are the world’s top producers of sunflower seeds, with a combined total of 33 million metric tons produced between September 2021 and August 2022. This number accounts for over 50% of the world’s total sunflower product output, including both seeds and sunflower oil, a popular neutral cooking fat.
While both Russia and Ukraine have ideal growing conditions for sunflowers, sunflower products from both nations are struggling with a spike in price and a drop in global imports. The war in Russia and Ukraine already caused the price of sunflower oil to jump by 60% after Russia cut off shipping routes in the Black Sea.
Inflation resulting from this interference was temporarily mitigated by a July 2022 trade agreement between Russia and Ukraine regarding agricultural exports, but on October 29, 2022, Russia announced that it would not renew this deal. Sunflower oil and seeds will likely spike in price again in the near future.