Main product derived from sunflower seeds is seed oil. Oil recovery is on average about 35%. India is a net importer of sunflower oil and the imports rose steadily since 2008-09 following the sharp fall in domestic production.
India is the third largest consumer of sunflower oil in the world after the EU and Russia. India is of stands as the largest importer in the world, marching past the EU. Import of sunflower stood at around 1 million tons on average during the past four years.
Sunflower production in India as an edible oilseed crop took-off commercially from 1972 onwards. Its acreage has expanded remarkably from about 500 ha in the early 1970s to about 2 million ha in the early 1990s. The expansion in area continued till mid-2000s except for few years during 1999-00 to 2002-03. It is the fourth largest edible oilseed produced in the country. Nevertheless, acreage and production of sunflower has started declining consistently from 2006-07 onwards. Sunflower output has dipped to almost 1/3rd during the past 10years from about 15 lakh tons in 2005-06 to about 5.5 lakh tons in 2011-12 primarily on account of a steep fall in area under sunflower .