Global Oilseed Consumption Continues to Grow Despite Slowing Trade and Production

Global oilseed production is forecast to decline slightly in 2019/20 in contrast to the steady rise observed over the past several years. Soybean production is projected to fall as reduced plantings and harvest in North America more than offset increases in all other regions. Sunflowerseed production is also forecast to fall as flat or declining production is expected in all major producing regions. Both rapeseed and palm kernel output are expected to grow with rapeseed production nearly flat to rising in most regions while palm kernel rises with growing palm oil.

Global oilseed consumption is forecast to rise as growing demand for protein feeds continues to drive the market. African Swine Fever in China and Vietnam continues to slow previous strong demand growth in these markets. However, low oilseed prices and expected strong global demand for meat and fish drives consumption elsewhere. Soybean consumption, representing 60 percent of the oilseed sector, will continue to be the driving force in total volume growth.

Global oilseed trade is forecast to rise slightly in 2019/20 yet remains below the record volume set in 2017/18. Limited import growth in China and Vietnam are the primary drivers with annual trade growth expected to reach 1 percent in the coming year versus near 6 percent earlier in the decade.

Global oilseed ending stocks are forecast to remain relatively unchanged as higher rapeseed stocks nearly offset flat to lower carry-over for all the remaining major oilseeds.

Global protein meal consumption is forecast to grow 2 percent in 2019/20, a bit faster than the prior year yet still about half the level of growth observed earlier in the decade. Weaker growth in China is the principal factor in the slower pace of consumption. Global protein meal trade is projected to show strong growth in 2019/20 at 2.5 percent though down from the current year forecast of 5 percent growth from 2017/18 resulting from the recovery in Argentine soybean crush and meal trade.

Global vegetable oil consumption is projected to expand, though at a slightly slower pace than in recent years. Food use consumption is forecast to grow 2.8 percent, down from the 3.3 percent pace observed in recent years. Industrial use, primarily for fuel, is projected to slow in 2019/20. Global vegetable oil trade is forecast to grow on pace with consumption with palm oil’s share of trade remaining nearly constant at just over 60 percent. With global vegetable oil production failing to keep pace with consumption, global vegetable oil stocks as a percent of consumption is expected to decline to below 10 percent in 2019/20, the lowest since the mid-1990’s.


Global 2018/19 oilseed production is raised slightly this month to 601.4 million tons. Larger peanut production in Argentina and cottonseed production in India more than offset small changes in Argentine sunflowerseed and Australia cottonseed. Global soybean exports are forecast lower this month as a 2-million-ton reduction in U.S. exports more than offsets an increase in Argentina. Soybean imports are also lower following a 1-million-ton decline in the China forecast to 85 million. Global soybean ending stocks are lowered 384,000 tons this month as reduced stocks in Argentina and China more than offset an increase in the United States to 29.1 million tons. The U.S. season-average farm price for soybeans is reduced by $0.05 to $8.50 per bushel.


Global oilseed production is forecast at 597.8 million tons, down less than 1 percent from 2018/19. Soybean production is projected at 355.4 million tons, down 6.7 million tons or roughly 2 percent. Reductions in the United States, Canada, Argentina and India more than offset gains for Brazil, Paraguay, and China. Rapeseed, cottonseed, and palm kernel production is projected higher while reductions are forecast for sunflowerseed and peanut. Soybean imports are forecast to rise from the 2018/19 depressed level. Brazil is expected to be the leading soybean exporter in 2019/20 in response to a larger projected harvest and preferential access to China. Growing demand for protein feed outside of China will more than offset weaker demand growth in China leading to a 2 percent rise in global oilseed disappearance. This increase, along with reduced global oilseed production, will keep ending stocks nearly steady after three years of significant expansion. Trade of soybean meal and soybean oil are both forecast to expand on growing global demand. The U.S. season-average farm price for soybeans is projected at $8.25 per bushel, a rise in $0.15 from last month.


U.S. soybean export bids in May, FOB Gulf, averaged $326/ton, down $14 from April. Brazil Paranagua averaged $338/ton, up $2 from April. Argentina Up River FOB averaged $320/ton, up $1 from last month. U.S. soybean meal export bids (FOB Gulf) in May averaged $334/ton, down $10/ton from April. Brazil Paranagua FOB averaged $312/ton, down $3 from April while Argentina Up River FOB averaged $311/ton, down $2 from the previous month.

The export price spread between U.S. and Argentine soybeans narrowed over the past month. A $20/ton discount for Argentine soybeans in early May evaporated in the latter half of the month and have followed U.S. prices higher into early June. Brazil soybeans, which had been trading at a discount to U.S. origin in early May are currently showing a premium of nearly $20/ton in early June. Prices for U.S. soybeans surged $20/ton in the last week of May and currently trade near early April levels, though unlike in April, at a discount to Brazil and on par with Argentina. For soybean meal, the price spread between U.S. and South American origin has declined over the past month with U.S. premiums running $22/ton above Argentine and Brazilian meal in late May versus nearly $30/ton in April and early May.


For the week ending May 30, 2019, U.S. 2018/19 soybean export commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 13.6 million tons compared to 28.7 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world were 46.7 million tons, compared to 55.6 million for the same period last year. Accumulated soybean exports were at 34.9 million tons, down 11.7 million from last year. Accumulated soybean exports to China were at 6.9 million tons, over 20 million tons lower compared to last year. Shipments to the rest of the world were at 21.0 million tons, 5.1 million above last year for the same period.



  • Global soybean production in 2019/20 is forecast to reach 355.4 million tons, a decline of 6.7 million tons below the 2018/19 production estimate. This decrease primarily reflects a reduction in planted area and return to trend yield in the United States. The reduced area is in response to low prices, high carry-over, weather issues, and uncertainty over trade with China. Production increases are expected in Brazil, China, Paraguay and India totaling 8.7 million tons following increases in harvested area. Despite the smaller area in the United States, global harvested area is forecast to expand nearly 1 percent to a record 126.7 million hectares. Despite the decline in global production, total global soybean supply is projected to rise 1.5 percent with larger carryin from 2018/19, primarily from the United States. Continued growth in global demand will likely balance supply growth this year leaving global ending stocks nearly unchanged from 2018/19. The global stocks/use ratio will fall slightly, but will remain at a healthy level. Global soybean trade is forecast to rise less than 1 percent in 2019/20 while remaining below 2017/18’s record level. U.S. exports are projected to rise from the current year’s low level, more than offsetting declines from most other exporters. Brazil and the United States will continue to be the main global soybean suppliers accounting for nearly 85 percent of global trade. China is projected to remain the leader in global imports at 58 percent of trade, though down from a peak of 65 percent as recently as 2016/17.
  • Global soybean meal imports are forecast to grow 3.5 percent in 2019/20 in line with growing protein feed demand. Argentina continues to expand exports following the reduced meal output corresponding with the 2017/18 drought and boosting its global export share to a projected 45 percent in 2019/20, near its long-term average. Imported soybean meal, as a share of global consumption has leveled off at near 27.5 percent after declining from roughly a third of consumption in the early 2000’s reflecting mostly the slowdown in China’s meal consumption. Global soybean meal consumption is forecast to grow 2 percent with the largest volume increases in North and South America and Southeast Asia.
  • Soybean oil exports are forecast to rise 5 percent in 2019/20 with total volume projected to reach 11.8 million tons and equaling the record set in 2015/16. Growing exportable supplies resulting from an increase in Argentine production will help propel sales into the new year, assisted by growing demand and competitive pricing. Ending stocks will decline only slightly, but remain significantly below the 5-year average.
  • Highlights
    • U.S. soybean exports are projected to rise 6.8 million tons to 53.1 million, while meal and oil exports are forecast lower at 12.3 million and 816,000 tons, respectively.
    • Argentina soybean exports are projected to decline 750,000 tons to 7.0 million, meal exports are forecast to grow 2.9 million tons to 31.0 million, and oil is up 550,000 tons to 5.6 million, all in response to increased supplies resulting from a improved crush volume.
    • Brazil soybean exports are projected down 3.5 million tons to 75.0 million, meal exports are cut 500,000 tons to 15.2 million, and oil exports are expected slightly higher at 1.3 million tons.
    • China soybean imports are projected up 2.0 million tons to 87.0 million, while meal exports remain stable at 900,000 tons. Oil imports are forecast to rise 200,000 tons to 1.1 million tons.
    • EU soybean imports are projected to fall 400,000 tons to 15.1 million with meal imports up 300,000 tons at 19.0 million. Oil imports are forecast unchanged at 325,000 tons while exports are flat at 1.0 million tons.
    • India soybean oil imports are forecast to rise 100,000 tons to 3.5 million. Soybean meal exports are projected unchanged at 1.9 million tons.
    • Vietnam soybean imports are projected to rise 250,000 tons to 2.5 million tons, while soybean meal imports are projected to grow 100,000 tons to 5.1 million tons.
    • Pakistan soybean imports are forecast to grow 100,000 tons to 2.6 million.
    • Egypt soybean imports are up 150,000 tons to 3.5 million while meal imports are expected to rise 100,000 tons to 925,000.


  • Global rapeseed production in 2019/20 is projected to rise 2.0 million tons, 2.7 percent more than in the current year. Production gains are forecast for Australia, China, and Ukraine, with no change in Canada and declines in India, the European Union, and United States. Global exports are forecast to rise modestly to a record 16.9 million tons, buoyed by larger exportable supplies in Australia, and Ukraine. Canada’s slowing exports will contribute to growing ending stocks, projected to reach a record 4.4 million tons. Weak growth in China’s import demand and its continued trade issues with Canada are expected to limit Canada’s exports. Global rapeseed crush is forecast to grow modestly in the coming year, leading to increases in both rapeseed meal and oil output.
  • Highlights
    • Canada rapeseed exports are projected 500,000 tons lower at 10.1 million tons, meal exports are up slightly to 4.8 million tons, while oil exports are nearly unchanged at 3.3 million tons.
    • Ukraine rapeseed exports are projected 1.0 million tons higher to 3.5 million.
    • Australia rapeseed exports are boosted 400,000 tons to 2.3 million. Rapeseed oil exports are nearly unchanged at 156,000 tons.
    • U.S. rapeseed imports are projected higher at 760,000 tons, meal imports are raised to 3.3 million tons, and oil is slightly higher at 1.8 million tons.
    • China rapeseed imports are projected to rise 100,000 tons to 4.1 million tons, meal imports are lowered to 1.2 million tons, and oil imports are higher at 1.4 million tons.
    • European Union rapeseed imports are projected to rise 300,000 tons to 4.2 million while exports are expected to remain unchanged at 650,000 tons.


  • Global sunflowerseed production in 2019/20 is forecast to reach 51 million tons, a half-millionton decline from the current year’s record output. Reduced production in Russia and Ukraine on smaller area harvested and lower output in Turkey with lower yield are the primary drivers. Ending stocks are projected lower as both trade and crush are forecast to grow in spite of the smaller harvest.
  • Global sunflowerseed meal imports are forecast to remain unchanged at 7.8 million tons on continued strong demand in China. China is projected to consume 2.1 million tons in 2019/20, up slightly from the current year and double the level recorded in 2017/18 as the industry looks for alternative feed ingredients. Sunflowerseed oil imports are forecast up at 8.8 million tons, the second-highest on record. This reflects growing import demand in India, China, and the European Union. Global consumption is also higher reflecting increased disappearance in China, the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine. Consumption in India is projected lower despite the increase in imports in response to reduced domestic production. Global stocks are forecast to remain at comfortable levels, nearly unchanged from the current year at 2 million tons.
  • Highlights
    • Ukraine sunflowerseed exports are forecast to rise 50,000 tons to 150,000 tons. Sunflowerseed meal and oil exports are projected to fall to 4.7 and 5.6 million tons, respectively on lower supplies.
    • Russia sunflowerseed exports are forecast 50,000 tons higher at 200,000 tons. Sunflowerseed meal exports are forecast to reach a record 1.5 million tons while oil exports are projected to rise 300,000 tons to a record 2.6 million.
    • EU sunflowerseed imports are forecast at 600,000 tons while exports are projected at 500,000 tons. Sunflowerseed meal imports are forecast to decline 100,000 tons to 3.4 million. Sunflowerseed oil imports and exports are projected to grow slightly, reaching 1.6 million and 540,000 tons, respectively.
    • India sunflowerseed oil imports are forecast to rise 50,000 tons to 2.5 million tons.
    • China sunflowerseed imports and exports are projected at 225,000 and 400,000 tons, respectively. Sunflowerseed meal imports are projected 50,000 tons higher at 1.1 million while sunflowerseed oil imports are forecast to rise 200,000 tons to 1.0 million.
    • Turkey sunflowerseed imports are expected to rise 100,000 tons to 600,000. Meal imports are forecast higher at 960,000 tons and oil imports lower at 425,000 tons.


  • Global peanut production in 2019/20 is forecast down nearly 1.0 million tons to 45.0 million, as area harvested in Sudan is projected to decline significantly. Elsewhere, harvested area is forecast to remain nearly unchanged or slightly higher leading to a 1 percent rise in projected area with little change in production on trend yields. Global exports are projected higher along with crush as increases in India and China production support an increase in crush. Global ending stocks are projected to decline 17 percent, mainly on reduced production in Sudan and Nigeria. Ending stocks in the United States are also forecast lower at 1.0 million tons, yet remain historically high.
  • Highlights
    • U.S. exports are forecast to rise slightly to 578,000 tons.
    • Argentina exports are projected 40,000 tons lower to 800,000.
    • India exports are forecast to rise 150,000 tons to 750,000 on greater supplies.
    • Senegal exports are unchanged at 150,000 tons.
    • EU imports are 10,000 tons higher at 980,000.
    • China imports are forecast lower at 225,000 tons and exports are projected unchanged at 700,000 tons.
    • Vietnam imports are 25,000 tons higher to 175,000.


  • 2019/20 global cottonseed production is projected at 45.9 million tons, up nearly 1 percent in line with expanded cotton plantings. Higher production in the United States, the largest since 2006, and a rebound in India’s crop are the main drivers, offsetting lower output in Brazil, Argentina and Australia. With trade accounting for less than 2 percent of production, consumption changes will reflect production with increased disappearance in the United States and India. Global crush is projected to rise 3 percent with a corresponding increase in meal and oil supplies. Global ending stocks are forecast to decline 8 percent bringing carry-over down to more comfortable levels.
  • Highlights
    • Australia cottonseed exports are forecast down 50 percent to 70,000 tons.
    • U.S. exports are projected up 22,000 tons to 408,000.
    • Brazil exports are forecast at 50,000 tons, up 10,000.
    • China imports are projected to grow 25,000 tons to 150,000.
    • Saudi Arabia imports are nearly unchanged at 110,000 tons.
    • Mexico imports are forecast unchanged at 80,000 tons.
    • South Korea imports are expected to remain at 150,000 tons while Japan imports are also unchanged at 105,000 tons.


  • Global palm oil production in 2019/20 is forecast to continue growing at a healthy pace as key exporters Malaysia and Indonesia expand acreage and production. Palm oil as a share of global oil trade is projected to remain near the long term average of 61 percent while global palm oil consumption as a share of total oil consumption continues to rise. While palm oil’s share of food use consumption is forecast to reach 34 percent, up three percentage points over the past 10 years, non-food use consumption as a percentage of global oil disappearance is projected to reach 44 percent, up 12 percentage points since 2010/11. Much of this growth is occurring in Malaysia and Indonesia where both the biofuel and oleo-chemical industry are expanding. Global palm oil stocks are forecast to decline in 2019/20 yet remain near the 10-year average of 9.5 million tons.
  • Highlights
    • Indonesia exports are forecast up 1.0 million tons to 30.0 million, while Malaysia is up 700,000 tons to 18.0 million.
    • India imports are forecast up 250,000 tons to 10.8 million, while Bangladesh and Pakistan are both up 100,000 tons to 1.9 million and 3.3 million, respectively.
    • U.S. imports are up 25,000 tons to 1.5 million.
  • Global palm kernel production in 2019/20 is forecast to rise, reflecting the expected growth in palm oil production. Palm kernel meal trade is forecast to rise slightly as well, with demand for industrial use of palm kernel hulls expected to continue. Leading importer New Zealand is forecast to remain steady while EU and Asian imports are expected to rise slightly. Japan imports are projected to grow based on their feed-in tariff and biomass policies. Palm kernel oil imports are projected to rise in line with growing availability in Indonesia.
  • Highlights
    • Indonesia meal exports are up 130,000 tons to 5.0 million, and oil exports are up 70,000 tons to 1.9 million.
    • Malaysia meal and oil exports are mostly unchanged at 2.5 million and 950,000 tons, respectively.
    • EU meal imports are projected 100,000 tons lower at 2.1 million, while oil imports are up modestly at 720,000 tons.
    • New Zealand meal imports are unchanged at 2.3 million tons.
    • China oil imports are 25,000 tons higher at 775,000 tons.
    • U.S. oil imports are up slightly to 365,000 tons.


  • Global olive oil production in 2019/20 is forecast at 3.4 million tons, up 9 percent. The European Union remains the largest producer with 70 percent of the world’s olive output. Production prospects in the EU are expected to improve and reach over 2.3 million tons. The European Union is investing in modernizing the olive oil sector with new equipment, improved agronomic practives, and expanded plantations. These efforts paired with good spring conditions are projected to result in greater production in 2019/20 and future years.
  • Olive oil exports are forecast slightly up in 2019/20 to 1.1 million tons with all exporters experiencing an increase from last year and imports also remaining strong at 1.0 million tons.
  • Ending stocks are slowly recovering to more historical levels. Olive oil stocks are foreacast up 31,000 tons to 606,000 for 2019/20.
  • Highlights
    • EU exports are forecast to grow to 700,000 tons, and imports are projected to increase to 220,000 tons.
    • Tunisia exports are forecast to rise 90,000 tons to 220,000.
    • Turkey exports are projected to grow 5,000 tons to 75,000.
    • U.S. imports are projected up slightly to 350,000 tons.


  • Global copra production in 2019/20 is forecast to decline 2.8 percent, due to reduced output from the Philippines caused by stress on the trees after two years of heavy nut bearing.
  • Copra meal production is projected to slightly decrease due to lower copra production in the Philippines while all other countries remain unchanged.
  • Coconut oil production is down 2.4 percent, while global imports are projected to increase 4.7 percent.
  • Highlights
    • Malaysia coconut oil imports are forecast to rise to 180,000 tons, and exports are increased to 125,000 tons.
    • Philippines oil exports are forecast lower at 950,000 tons on decreased production.
    • Indonesia oil exports are down 30,000 tons to 600,000, while meal exports are dropped 15,000 tons to 280,000.
    • U.S. oil imports are up slightly to 465,000 tons, while the EU remains the top global importer at 650,000 tons.


  • Global fishmeal production and exports are expected to rise slightly in 2019/20. Peru continues to be the largest producer accounting for 23 percent of world production. Peru is also the leading exporter followed by the European Union, Vietnam, and China. China is the world’s largest consumer and importer of fish meal. The United States produces 5 percent of the world’s fish meal and exports 58 percent of its production. Fishmeal is a key ingredient for aquaculture, but continues to face competition with soy meal as an alternative and cheaper protein source.
  • Highlights
    • Peru exports rise 10,000 tons to 1.1 million.
    • China imports rise 110,000 tons to 1.4 million.