International Sunflower Oil Association held its first regional event Sunflower Oil Seminar in Beijing on November 11. Chinese companies COFCO, Yihay Kerry and Sinopharm were the sponsors of the event. The seminar gathered more than 200 participants (90% - Chinese importers and processors of sunflower oil). The event agenda included presentations of international experts (APK-Inform, Delta Wilmar CIS, IKAR) and number of key analytics of Chinese vegetable oils market as well as presentation of Chinese association committee.
Sunflower Oil Seminar was mainly addressed to Chinese market. It gathered key local players and provided them with current information regarding global, Black Sea and Chinese markets of sunflower oil. Despite orientation on China, several European brokers (who preferred the seminal to traditional Global Grain) as well as some Ukrainian and Russian companies attended the event.
Let us remind that APK-Inform is directly relevant to ISOA as the agency is one of the founders of the association and the representative of APK-Inform (author of the article) is the secretary general of ISOA. In 2015, ISOA and APK-Inform hold joined event in Shanghai and we plan to organize a number of similar events in 3 countries in 2017.
Except traditional session part, the seminar had certain Chinese tricks such as long traditional dinner as well as mini-exhibition where participants enjoyed high technologies like virtual excursion to Odessa Wilmar plant and Ukrainian sunflower fields. Many media representatives attended the seminar that proved once again popularity of sunflower oil in China.
Introduction to the market Chinese committee of ISOA was the part of official event agenda. Except Wilmar, such companies as Sinopharm Fortune Way, Shanghai Pansun and Goldsun Grain&Oil are the members of the committee. Coordination of sunflower oil promotion on Chinese market will be the main task of the committee.
Dmitriy Ponomarenko, consul general of Ukraine in Shanghai was one of the first speakers. He told about joined projects of Ukraine and China and further prospects of cooperation. He emphasized possibility of conclusion of FTA between the countries. D.Ponomarenko told about unique agricultural potential of Ukraine and mentioned some interesting facts:
- Agricultural lands of 5 biggest Ukrainian holdings have the same area as Slovenia
- Ukraine produces 5 times more sunflower oil than output volumes of olive oil in Spain (largest producer)
- It required 1852 olympic swimming pools to get all Ukrainian sunflower oil!
Chinese company COFCO made two presentations devoted to global and Chinese markets of sunflower oil. Speakers emphasized that pace of increase of sunflower oil consumption in China exceeds average pace of vegetable oils consumption growth. China imported 90 thsd tonnes of sunflower oil in 2006/07 MY and 880 thsd tonnes in 2015/16 MY. COFCO forecasts the import volume to reach 920 thsd tonnes in 2016/17 MY. Chinese consumers appreciate that sunflower oil is GMO free and has a pleasant taste. It has an image of “healthy lifestyle product”.
APK-Inform presentation provided results of 2015/16 MY and prospects of 2016/17 MY for Ukrainian sunflower oil market as well as analysis of oil export from Ukraine over the last 10 years. Thus, over this period Ukraine increased 9 times supply to Indian and Chinese markets while shipments to the EU grew only by 7%. APK-Inform forecasts export of Ukrainian sunflower oil to reach 5.2 mln tonnes in 2016/17 MY, up 16% on year. China and India, EU, Turkey, Egypt will be the main destinations (however, the competition with Argentina in India and with Russia in China is growing). Iran and Iraq can increase imported volumes too.
Dmitriy Rylko, IKAR director told about Russian market. He pointed out that Russian market of oilseeds and vegetable oils is turning to be more export oriented. IKAR forecasts Russia to export about 1.9 mln tonnes of sunflower oil in 2016/17 MY that significantly exceeds expectations of other analytics (1.5-1.6 mln tonnes). D.Rylko emphasized that Russia significantly increased supply to China in 2015/16 MY (+475%!), Azerbaijan (+30%) and Iran (+41%) while shipment to Turkey and Kazakhstan declined by 11% and 4% correspondingly. He mentioned that Aston (22%), Yug Rusi and EFKO (11% each), SolPro (9%) and NMGK (7%) were the TOP-5 exporters of sunflower oil last season. NMGK is the largest supplier of Russian sunflower oil to China.
Last part of the seminar covered technological presentations aiming at increasing awareness about characteristics of sunflower oil and peculiarities of its processing. Speakers in this block were both private companies like Wilmar and scientific institutions particularly Chinese Food Institute.
Despite smog and cold of Beijing, the event brought positive impressions – interest to Ukrainian sunflower oil in China is high and mainly because of promoting campaign of Wilmar, COFCO and since now Chinese committee of ISOA. We hope for further increase of Ukrainian oil consumption and ISOA is waiting for Chinese delegation on Ukrainian sunflower fields in 2017… Promotion is never too much!