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 - May 2014
Summary : World oilseed production is forecast to rise to an all-time high in 2013/14, allowing output of meals and oils to expand at above-average rates. An important exception is palm oil, which may be subject to a significant slowdown in production growth. With regard to domestic availabilities, most of the key producing/exporting countries are forecast to see significant year-on-year improvements, except theUnited States, where supply is constrained by low carryin stocks. Global consumption of both oils and meals is set to continue expanding, stimulated by higher supplies and driven by growing demand in developing countries in Asia. However, global meal consumption could grow less than anticipated, given unexpectedly firm international meal prices and improved global availability of maize. As for vegetable oils, additional demand from the biodiesel sector is expected to contribute to consumption growth. As the world supply and demand situation improves, world stocks, especially of oilmeals, are expected to be replenished. However, this will not apply to soymeal inventories in the United States, which are projected to continue falling, dragging the country’s stock-touse ratio to an all-time low. As for oils/fats, the global stock-to-use ratio is estimated to recover only partially from last season’s low level. The recent appreciation of vegetable oil prices and the continued firmness in meal values have to be seen against this background. Concerning trade, global transactions in oils/fats are expected to grow only moderately, while trade in meals/cakes is set to increase sharply. With South America’s record soybean crop finally entering the market and a likely slowdown in China’s import demand, the global supply and demand situation for oilseed and meals should ease substantially in the coming months. By contrast, the outlook for vegetable oil markets remains mixed.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 2013-2022 
Highlights: (i) Assuming normal yields in all producing regions, world production of oilseeds should rebound in marketing years 2013 and 2014 resulting in a sharp reduction of international oilseeds and products prices. After this correction, prices are expected to increase slowly based on strong food and fuel demands of vegetable oil and a solid feed demand for protein meal. (ii) Relative profitability of oilseeds versus coarse grains is expected to favour the distribution of land toward oilseeds and lead to a 26% increase in world production when combined with yield gains. With 93% of global exports in 2022, the Americas should confirm their role as 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) After a period of over-proportional growth in palm oil production, its share in total oilseed oil output is projected to stabilise at around one third of the total vegetable oil production. World vegetable oil production remains very concentrated in the coming decade as growth originates in the main producing regions. Demand for food remains strong based on income and population growths, fuel uses are supported by consumption mandates. (iv) Global protein meal output is projected to increase by 25% or 67 Mt. Two-thirds should come 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 relative use of protein meal in feed rations, signalling a less rapid structural transformation process in the livestock sector in the coming decade.
» 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.