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 - June 2016
Summary : FAO’s latest forecasts for the 2015/16 marketing year (October/September) point to a tightening in the global supply-and-demand balance for oilcrops and derived products. Together with low estimates for global rape and cottonseed output, recent downward adjustments in the soybean forecast for South America – due to adverse, El Niño-related, weather conditions – are expected to result in a contraction in global oilseed production. Furthermore, global output of palm oil, the world’s leading vegetable oil, is expected to shrink for the first time in 18 years, after prolonged El Niño-related dryness hit palm plantations across Southeast Asia. Based on current forecasts, world output of both oilmeals/cakes and oils/fats are expected to contract in 2015/16. In the case of meals, record high levels of carry-in stocks should prevent global 2015/16 supplies from falling, but total availabilities of oils/fats are likely to decline.     Fueled by population and economic growth, global utilization of both meals and oils are expected to expand further in 2015/16, albeit at a reduced pace. With world production estimated to fall short of consumption, a reduction in global inventories of oilseeds, oils and meals from last season’s historically high levels will be necessary, resulting in lower global stock-to-use ratios and major exporters' stock-to-disappearance ratios. The likelihood of tighter global supply-and-demand balances in the oilcrop complex explains the recent strengthening in international prices for oilseeds and derived products, which had followed a downward trend since early 2014. Highly tentative projections for the 2016/17 season, which starts in October 2016, indicate that global oilseed production may barely recover from the current season’s drop. While current forecasts for 2016/17 would translate into a record output of vegetable oils, global oilmeal production would merely recover from the 2015/16 drop. Assuming a continuation of current utilization trends, global production – in particular of meals but also of oils – could again fall short of world demand, possibly resulting in additional cutbacks in end-of-season inventories. The current outlook gives scope for international prices of oilseeds and oilseed products to remain under upward pressure over the coming months. 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 2016-2025
Highlights: In nominal terms, all oilseeds and oilseed product prices are projected to increase over the outlook period. The price relationships within the sector will shift slightly in favour of the meal component. Due to saturation in per capita food demand in many emerging economies and reduced growth in biodiesel production from vegetable oils, vegetable oil prices will decline whereas protein meal prices will increase slightly in real terms during the outlook period ... (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.