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Worldwide oilseed production in the 2023/24 marketing year is forecast to increase by 7% mainly due to soyabean output in South America and sunflowerseed in the European Union (EU), Russia and Ukraine, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Although global oilseed consumption was expected to rise by 4% to a new record of 672M tonnes in the current marketing year, driven by a recovery in soyabean crushing in Argentina and rising import demand from China, it would not keep pace with production, the USDA’s Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report said.

As a result, global oilseed ending stocks were forecast to rise, mainly due to higher soyabean production and stocks in China, South America and the USA, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) 12 May report.

World rapeseed production was expected to remain almost unchanged as gains in the EU, Canada and China were offset by declines in Australia. Soyabean output was forecast to rise by 11% – 40M tonnes – to nearly 411.0M tonnes.

Soyabean crushing and consumption were projected to account for most of the growth in global oilseed use, while rapeseed consumption was forecast to increase by 1%, while sunflowerseed processing was expected to remain almost unchanged.

Global oilseed trade was forecast to increase by 1% with higher soyabean import demand offsetting lower rapeseed and sunflowerseed imports.

“Slowing economic growth in China and the EU coupled with growing domestic oilseed production as well as continuing expansion of soyabean planted area in South America will likely pressure global soyabean prices in the coming year,” the USDA said.

“Projected weaker soyabean import growth in China and the EU coupled with recovery in Argentina soyabean output and yet another record crop forecast for Brazil will limit opportunity for the United States to expand soyabean exports and gain global market share, leading to stock building.”

Brazil soyabean exports were projected at a record 96.5M tonnes and would account for 56% of global trade, while US exports were forecast to decline to 53.7M tonnes, leaving the USA with a 31% market share.

Chinese soyabean imports were forecast at 100M tonnes while the rest of the world’s purchases would total approximately 70M tonnes, with EU imports relatively flat at 14M tonnes, the report said.

“Weaker soyabean import growth in China and the EU can be attributed to rising domestic production of soyabean, rapeseed, and sunflowerseed in both countries, as well as continuing strong demand for imported rapeseed and sunflowerseed and products,” the USDA said.