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Last Update: May 2015

Commentary on the recent development of price indices

In April, all three of FAO’s price indices for the oilcrop complex have dropped compared to the previous month. Similar to March, the index for meals continued to fall the strongest, namely by   5 points (or about 3 percent), while the indices for oilseeds and oils both eased by only 2 points (or   1 percent). All three indices continue to fare at multi-year lows.

The further easing in the price indices for oilseed and oilmeal has been driven by developments in the soy market. During April, estimates for soybean crops currently being harvested in    South America have again been revised upward, based on higher than expected yield levels in both Brazil (where the harvest is drawing to a close) and Argentina (where harvest operations have greatly benefited from dry weather conditions). Furthermore, in the United States, plantings of  the 2015/16 soybean crop are now underway and, provided initial planting estimates materialize and assuming normal weather conditions, a repetition of last year’s record output is considered possible. International prices for rape and sunflower-seed, on the other hand, appreciated in response to lower than expected global availabilities of the two oilcrops.

The additional drop in the vegetable oil index has been driven by a further dive palm oil prices. Reports of higher than anticipated production in Indonesia and Malaysia (following beneficial rain), combined with news of persistently weak global import demand, led to an accumulation of inventories, pressuring prices. Renewed firmness in international sunflower oil prices prevented the index from falling more pronouncedly. Soyoil prices received support from increased consumer interest, thereby halting the slide in international quotations observed since May 2014.

 

Components of the oilseeds price index: Soybeans, US, cif Rotterdam; Copra Phil./Indo., cif NW Eur. port; Rapeseed, Europe, 00, cif Hamburg; Linseed, Canada, No.1, cif NW Eur. port; Sunseed, EU, cif Rotterdam (please note that sunseed has been added to the index only in January 1976).

Components of the oils/fats price index: Soybean oil, Dutch , fob ex-mill; Sun oil, EU, fob NW Eur. port; Rape oil, Dutch, fob ex-mill; Groundnut oil, any origin, cif Rotterdam; Cotton oil, US, PBSY, fob Gulf; Coconut oil, Phil./Indo., cif Rotterdam; Palmkernel oil, Mal./Indo., cif Rotterdam; Palm oil crude, cif NW Eur. port; Linseed oil, any origin, ex-tank, Rotterdam; Castor oil, ex-tank Rotterdam.

Components of the meals/cakes price index: Soy meal, 44/45%, fob ex-mill Hamburg; Sun pell., 37/38%, Arg., cif Rotterdam; Rape meal, 34%, fob ex-mill Hamburg; Copra exp. pell., Phil., domestic; Palmkernel  exp., 21/23%, cif Rotterdam.