Trade and markets



Price indices for oilcrops and derived products
The indices are derived from a trade-weighted average of a selection of representative internationally traded products. Please note that in November 2013 some modifications have been introduced to the way the indices are calculated ; for details and to access the series of indices along with commentary on latest price developments click here.

Oilcrops, oils and meals market assessment - May 2015
Summary : The latest forecasts for the 2014/15 season point towards a further easing of the global supply and demand balance for oilseeds products. Driven by bumper soybean crops in the United States and South American countries, global oilseed production is expected to expand significantly for the third consecutive season. Such an increase, together with sizeable opening stocks, will facilitate a strong expansion in global supplies of oils/fats and even more so of meals/cakes. On the demand side, growth in oils/fats consumption could slow in 2014/15, largely due to a subdued demand from the biodiesel sector, while global meal consumption is seen expanding at an about-average rate. As production of oilseed products is anticipated to exceed utilization by an ample margin, especially in the case of meals, a sharp rise in global inventories appears likely. Year-on-year, carry-out stocks are currently projected to increase by 11 percent for oils/fats and by a stunning 34 percent for meals/cakes, mainly due to soy/ meal. Responding to the positive supply and demand prospects, international prices for most oilseeds and oilseed products eased during the first half of 2014/15. In April 2015, FAO’s price indices for the oilseed complex not only ranged 20–30 percent below their corresponding 2014 values, they also tumbled to 5–6 year lows. The latest harvest updates in the Southern Hemisphere and the first planting indications for next season in the Northern Hemisphere, suggest that international prices could remain under pressure for the next few months. With regard to international trade, current forecasts indicate a deceleration in the volume of transactions in both oilseeds and oilseed products – despite the recent slide in prices. Incomplete and highly tentative forecasts for 2015/16 suggest that, after three consecutive rises, global oilseed production could contract in the coming season, with the largest dip seen for soybeans. Nonetheless, considering the current season’s prospective record-high carry-out stocks, a production decrease would not necessarily lead to tightness in global markets. Read full document

The Oilcrops Monthly Price and Policy Update (MPPU) is an information product provided by the oilseeds desk of the Trade and Markets Division. As a complement to our bi-annual market reports, this brief note follows two purposes: first, to review the development of international prices for oilseeds, oils and meals as reflected by FAO’s specific price indices and second, to spot recent policy and market events - selected from a variety of sources - that are deemed important for the global oilseed economy. The brief shall be issued in the second week of each month, for a total of 10 issues per year. The note, which will be available in English only, will be posted on this web page as well as sent to subscribers of the Oilcrops Market Network.

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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook: Oilseed Projections 2014-2023
Highlights: (i) World production of oilseeds has increased in marketing year 2013 and, in the absence of climate incidents, is expected to stay at this high level in 2014. These two large crops will significantly reduce international oilseeds and products prices. After this reduction, prices are expected to increase slowly, based on strong food and fuel demand for vegetable oil and a solid demand for protein meal once meat production grows stronger again. (ii) Relative profitability of coarse grains versus oilseeds is expected to favour the allocation of land toward oilseeds and lead to a 26% increase in world production when combined with yield gains.With 91% of global exports in 2023, the Americas will continue to be the oilseeds basket of the world. China is expected to further solidify its position as the leading oilseeds importer, but its share of world oilseeds crush is expected to stabilise at 25% of world total. (iii) The share of palm oil production in total vegetable oil output is projected to continue to increase in the first seven years of the outlook period but to stabilise at almost 36% thereafter.World vegetable oil production will remain very concentrated in the coming decade as growth originates in the main producing regions of Indonesia and Malaysia. Demand of vegetable oils for food remains strong as global incomes and population grow, and the use of vegetable oils as fuel is supported by consumption mandates. (iv) Global protein meal output is projected to increase by 27% or 74 Mt. Almost two-thirds of this additional output comes from four countries: Argentina, Brazil, China and the United States. Compared to the past decade, consumption growth of protein meal slows down significantly, reflecting both slower absolute growth in global livestock production and slower growth in the share of protein meal in feed rations. This last phenomenon reflects the recent achievement of optimum use of protein meal in feed ration by commercial farms in some important developing countries.
» Outlook chapter on oilseeds, oils and meals
See also:
»Outlook chapter on biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel)


Oil crops include both annual (usually called oilseeds) and perennial plants whose seeds, fruits or nuts are either consumed directly as food or crushed to obtain oil (used by the food, oleochemical, biofuel and other industries) as well as protein-rich meal (used as feed in the livestock sector).

Some of the crops included are also fibre crops in that both the seeds and the fibres are harvested from the same plant. Such crops include coconuts, kapok fruit, cotton, linseed and hempseed.