Trade and markets


Oilcrops, oils and meals market assessment - November 2019
Summary: FAO’s preliminary forecasts for the 2019/20 season point to relatively balanced markets for oilseeds and derived products.
After reaching an all-time high in 2018/19, global oilseed production is anticipated to contract for the first time since 2015/16, mostly reflecting expected declines in soybean and rapeseed outputs that would outweigh foreseen gains in other oilcrops. Soybean production could fall short of last season’s record level, largely as a result of both a contraction in plantings and lower yields in the United States, amid unattractive production margins and unfavourable weather conditions. Regarding rapeseed, uncertain export prospects contained plantings in Canada, while in the EU and Australia, harvests have been compromised by prolonged dryness. As for palm oil, global production could slow, tied to a deceleration in area expansion and modest yield prospects in Indonesia and Malaysia.
On the demand side, global meal utilization is forecast to resume growth, albeit timidly – after being severely affected by the outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2018/19. Oils/fats consumption is also poised to expand at a below-average rate, reflecting generally stagnant economic growth and more moderate uptake by the biodiesel sector. However, based on current forecasts, global utilization of meals and oils would still outstrip production, triggering sizeable year-on-year drawdowns in meal/oil reserves. Despite the predicted tightening in global carry-over stocks, major exporters’ stock-to-disappearance ratios still point to a comfortable market situation.
International trade in meals and oils is expected to continue expanding in 2019/20, though at a relatively low rate, underpinned by the predicted slowdowns in global utilization and reductions in exportable supplies. Ongoing trade tensions between individual countries are poised to continue affecting markets for oilcrops and derived products, adding uncertainty to the market outlook.
Looking ahead, prices in the coming months will be influenced by weather conditions in South America and Southeast Asia, the evolvement of the ASF epidemic, implementation of domestic biodiesel policies, and trade policy developments. Should the current forecasts of sizeable drawdowns in global inventories materialize, prices of products in the oilcrops complex could gain ground compared with recent multi-year lows. link to full document

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.

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.

Oilcrops complex: Policy Changes and Industry Measures – Annual Compendium
The compendium offers an overview of salient government policies and related private sector measures concerning global and national markets for oilcrops and derived products. Its purpose is to facilitate the work of policy makers, market experts, analysts and other interested stakeholders by providing a short, concise overview of policy developments relevant to the sector. Detailed news items are presented in tabular form, preceded by a brief discussion of the key policy trends observed in the year under review. download latest issue

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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook: Oilseed Projections 2019-2028
Highlights: During the outlook period, global soybean production is projected to continue to expand at 1.6% p.a., with the expansion of area harvested accounting for 53% of global output growth. With its domestic output reaching 144 Mt by 2028, Brazil will become the world’s largest producer, overtaking the United States, for which output is projected to be 121 Mt by 2028. Production of other oilseeds will increase by 1.4% p.a. over the next decade, reflecting slower growth relative to the last ten years, due in part to curbed demand for rapeseed oil as a feedstock in European biodiesel production. Crushing of soybeans and other oilseeds into meal (cake) and oil will continue to dominate usage and increase faster than other uses, such as direct food/feed consumption of soybeans, groundnuts and sunflower seeds. Overall, 91% of world soybean output and 87% of world production of other oilseeds are projected to be crushed in 2028. ... read more
» Full chapter on oilseeds, oils and meals
See also:
» 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.