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 - July 2018
Summary : Based on FAO’s latest forecasts, the 2017/18 supply and demand balance is set to tighten compared with 2016/17 for meals/cakes, while remaining at comfortable levels for oils/fats.
Oilseed production in 2017/18 is poised to trail behind last season’s record, mainly reflecting reduced yield levels in a number of countries following adverse weather conditions. Lower soybean production is expected to be only partly offset by gains in other oilcrops. Most importantly, extreme weather conditions impaired Argentina’s soybean crop. The setback in Argentina, one of the world’s key suppliers of oil and meal, prompted shifts in global crushing and trade patterns. With, global consumption of meals set to expand and surpass production, global meal inventories are anticipated to be drawn down, but still remain close to historically high levels. Reflecting these developments, international oilseed and oilmeal prices have been under upward pressure during the first half of the season.
Regarding oils/fats, global production is seen expanding further, underpinned by higher output of palm and rapeseed oils. Consumption is anticipated to continue to expand, with higher uptake by the biodiesel industry contributing to growth. With world production set to exceed demand, a further accumulation in global inventories is foreseen. Responding to the prospect of excess supplies and ample stock levels, prices of oils/fats have been on the decline since December 2017.Preliminary, highly tentative forecasts for 2018/19 point towards a further increase in global oilcrop production, which could give rise to record outputs of both oils and meals. Assuming a continuation of current consumption trends, the anticipated supply levels would be adequate to satisfy projected demand. In the past few weeks, the evolving trade dispute between the United States and China introduced considerable uncertainty into the market. While it remains to be seen how trade measures implemented by the two countries will affect markets for oilseeds and oilseed products, China’s pending introduction of retaliatory tariffs on soybean imports from the US triggered a plunge in world soybean and soymeal prices, with strong spillover effects across the oilcrops complex. more
(link to 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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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 – in English only –, preceded by a brief discussion of the key policy trends observed in the year under review. download

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook: Oilseed Projections 2018-2027
Highlights: Global oilseeds production is expected to expand at around 1.5% p.a., well below the growth rates of the last decade. Brazil and the United States will be the largest soybean producers, with similar volumes. Protein meal use will grow more slowly due to slower growth in livestock production and as the protein meal share in Chinese feed rations has reached a plateau. Demand for vegetable oil is expected to grow more slowly due to slower growth in per capita food use in developing countries and the projected stagnation in demand as feedstock for biodiesel. Vegetable oil exports will continue to be dominated by Indonesia and Malaysia, while soybean, other oilseeds and protein meal exports are dominated by the Americas. Prices are projected to increase slightly in nominal terms over the outlook period, with slight declines in real terms.. ... 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.