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 - November 2017
Summary : The 2016/17 season saw an easing in the global oilseeds and oilmeal supply and demand situation, while vegetable oil fundamentals remained relatively tight. Accordingly,during the recently ended October/September marketing year, international prices for oilseeds and oilmeals remained subdued, while those of oils/fats maintained their strength.
Preliminary forecasts for 2017/18 point to a broadly balanced global supply and demand situation, in both the oilseed and meal markets as well as in the oils/fats segment. Global oilseed production is forecast to match last season’s record level, with small year-on-year contractions in soybean and sunflowerseed compensated by improvements in other oilcrops. While the global area of the seven major oilseeds is anticipated to expand further, average yields are expected to retreat to trend levels, following last season’s unparalleled highs. For soybeans, individual countries’ prospects are mixed, with year-on-year gains concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere, notably the United States, China and Canada, while, in South America, possible drops are looming in Brazil and Argentina.
World oils/fats production is forecast to expand moderately in 2017/18. Growth would be led by palm oil, with production in Southeast Asia reverting to average growth, after the last two seasons’ El Niño-related swings. Global oils/fats utilization could grow less than last season, assuming moderate income growth in a number of countries and only limited expansion in demand from the biodiesel sector. International meal output, on the other hand, is forecast to remain flat, given the anticipated drop in soybean production. Based on current forecasts, global supplies of both meals and oils/fats would be adequate to meet global demand, thus allowing end-of season stocks to remain at comfortable levels. World trade in oils/fats and meals/cakes is anticipated to keep expanding in 2017/18, albeit at a somewhat reduced pace compared with the previous season.
In the coming months, international prices of oilseeds, oils and meals will be influenced by changes in the production forecasts for soybeans in South America and palm oil in Southeast Asia. Uncertainties remain regarding the actual course of global oil and meal demand, including, in the case of oils/fats, the impact of recent policy changes concerning the biodiesel market. 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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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 2017-2026
Highlights: In nominal terms all oilseeds and oilseed product prices are projected to increase slightly over the outlook period. Due to saturated per capita food demand, stagnation in the biodiesel sector and ongoing livestock intensification in many emerging economies,vegetable oil prices will decline further than protein meal prices in real terms over the outlook period. Prices for soybeans and other oilseeds are also projected to decline in real terms. Nevertheless, volatility should be expected due to market uncertainties. ... (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.