Global oilseed production is forecast to reach an all-time high in the 2022/23 marketing year, with increased outputs of soyabean and rapeseed expected to offset a likely drop in sunflower seed production, according to a new report by the United Nations (UN)’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Published on 11 November, the FAO’s bi-annual Food Outlook report, forecast total oilseed production would increase by 7% compared to the previous marketing year to total 654.5M tonnes.

“The anticipated record world soyabean production is chiefly underpinned by a markedly higher output expected in Brazil, assuming normal weather conditions, whereas the crop in the USA could fall slightly because of lower yields,” the report said.

International rapeseed production was forecast to rise significantly, due to favourable outlooks across Australia, Canada and the European Union.

In contrast, world sunflowerseed production was expected to decline, due to significant disruption to planting in war-torn Ukraine, while yields were also expected to fall as a result of shortages of inputs.

A modest rise in global palm oil output was forecast, as ongoing labour shortage issues in Malaysia continued to constrain the potential for a higher growth rate.

In 2022/23, the FAO expected global oils/fats consumption to recover from an “exceptional slowdown” the previous year amid higher costs, while a moderate increase in global oilseed meal uptake was also forecast following a period of stagnation the previous season, linked to expectations of growing feed demand mainly in mainland China.

Meanwhile, a rebound in international vegetable oils and oilseed meal trade was forecast following a period of contraction for two consecutive seasons, due to an expected improvement in global supplies and larger import purchases, particularly from Asia.

With global output of oilseed-derived products expected to exceed consumption, the FAO envisaged replenishment of world stocks for both oils/fats and oilseed meals by the end of the 2022/23 season, although the stocks-to-use ratios for both products were anticipated to remain below their respective five-year averages, implying relatively tight market outlooks.

Against this backdrop, international prices of oilseeds, vegetable oils and oilseed meals continued to hover around multi-year high levels at the time of the report, after reaching record levels earlier this year.

Looking ahead, the FAO said the market for oilseeds and their by-products would be influenced by a range of uncertainties.

“These include climatic conditions in major growing regions, consumption patterns associated with global economic prospects, the war in Ukraine, changes in trade policies and the direction of biodiesel admixture mandates and crude oil prices,” the FAO said.

Issued twice a year, the Food Outlook report includes reviews of market supply and utilisation trends for the world’s major foodstuffs, including cereals, oil crops, sugar, meat, dairy and fish. It also looks at trends in ocean freight rates.