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 - October 2014
Summary : The current outlook for the 2014/15 marketing season points to a further improvement in the global supply and demand balance for oilseeds and derived products. Global oilseed output is forecast to exceed last season’s record due to further expanding of soybean production. Thanks to record plantings and near-ideal growing conditions, the United States is set to harvest another bumper soybean crop, while further gains in planted area seem likely in South America, considering that relative prices continue to favour soybeans over maize. For oilseedsother than soybeans, a contraction in output is possible. Palm oil production should keep growing, but at a below average rate. Record soybean crops will likely result in another conspicuous increase in world supplies of meals/cakes in 2014/15, whereas global oils/fats could grow less than last season. As global meal output is anticipated to outpace world  utilization, a conspicuous build-up in stocks is expected. For oils/fats, global output should basically match utilization, precluding significant stock changes. Based on current forecasts, the stock-to-use ratio for meals/cakes is poised to rise strongly, whereas that for oils/fats should remain about unchanged. The present outlook suggests that there is scope for international meal prices to ease further during 2014/15, thus extending the recently commenced descending trend and abandoning the high levels recorded since mid-2012. Additional downward pressure is likely to come from record global feedgrain supplies. As for the oils/fats market, a balanced supply and demand situation and stable stock-to-use ratios  point to a stabilization in prices around their current relatively low level. International trade in oilseeds and derived products is forecast to expand further in 2014/15, although less strongly than last season. The anticipated slowdown reflects ample domestic supplies, stemming in part from large carry-in stocks in a number of significant importing countries, including China and the EU. It also reflects limited export availabilities arising from poor crops, higher domestic utilization or the need to re-build stocks in several exporting nations, notably the United States, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil. Read full document

The Oilcrops Monthly Price and Policy Update (MPPU) is a new 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.