Products Import in the EU

Sunflower processing in Europe

Sunflower is one of the best-selling crops in the world.

First of all, oil is made from seeds, which is used in food whole. But besides this, the processing of sunflower also makes it possible to obtain meal, which is used for feeding animals. This makes the sunflower extremely popular in the world market.

What you need to know about sunflower processing

Ukraine is one of the main producers of this crop all over the world, and is one of the ten leading countries in the production of oilseeds.

The local climate and cultivated areas contribute to the development of this industry, constantly attracting new investments. At the same time, many EU countries cannot boast of such productivity, and therefore are forced to purchase sunflower seeds in Ukraine, and then process them on their own.

The task of seed processing is to obtain first cold-pressed sunflower oil, as well as refined oil and meal. For this purpose, special factories are being built, which make it possible to correctly organize all stages of processing.

The oil-pressing shop consists of a power unit, an oil storage, a warehouse for storing oil cake and seed husks and the necessary communications. Processing consists of the following stages:

  • Seeds are cleaned and dried
  • The clean kernel is separated and crushed
  • The pulp is steamed and fried
  • Oil is recovered (by pressing and extraction)
  • Oil is being purified (refined)
  • The finished product is packaged and stored.

By 2020, Ukraine has become a leader in the export of this crop, and the total trade volume has almost doubled. In 2019 alone, the export of this crop amounted to 3.2 million tons, and more than half of the production of sunflower oil (11.6 million tons) was exported.

To supply seeds to the EU market, Ukrainian producers must prepare a number of documents, as well as pay duties for the introduction of the product. You can familiarize yourself with the necessary requirements and learn about the specifics of seed supplies to Europe on the website of the Customs Union. There you can also find samples of filling out the documents required at the border.

In which EU countries sunflower is processed

According to statistics, imports of sunflower seeds in the EU are increasing every year. Most often, export products are bought in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. It is these countries that are the main ones for sunflower processing.

At the same time, recently even those countries that are independently engaged in seed processing are giving preference to ready-made export sunflower oil. By the way, here too Ukraine takes a leading position – the country produces 20 million tons of crude unrefined oil.


Sales of sunflower oil continue to increase, and large enterprises are already engaged in seed processing, which can ensure the supply of a quality product. In Ukraine, there are only 20 enterprises that process sunflower seeds. At the same time, the profitability of processing falls, as prices for both seeds and oil are constantly falling. However, this feature should not stop local business, since Ukraine currently supplies 60% of the world’s oil and seeds, and it is important for the country to maintain these positions in the market.

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