The worldwide oilseed and grain sector is set for continued growth driven by increased demand from Asia and Africa, according to analysis by Rabobank published on 4 May.

Exports from the Americas and the Black Sea region were forecast to increase, the report said, while political tensions, increased protectionism and volatile weather would affect trade patterns.

Rabobank’s analysis was taken from its World Grains & Oilseeds Map 2021, which shows trade flows across the globe and key insights for the sector during the last five years.

The publication showed that global trade volumes of all grains and oilseeds had increased by about 120M tonnes at a CAGR of 3.5%.

However, the growth rate had decreased when compared to the 6% CAGR, or 160M tonnes, of the previous five years, according to the report.

Although oilseed complex prices had declined during this period, an increase in grain prices, coupled with the total trade volume increase, had resulted in a 17% increase in the total value of flows, Rabobank said.

“Income and population are expected to continue to drive long-term growth in trade flows, while changes in consumer dietary habits might cause further shifts in those flows,” Rabobank senior analyst grains & oilseeds Vito Martielli said.

Rabobank’s analysis highlighted key changes in trade destinations with Africa as the rising grains and oilseeds importer. The main commodities imported into the continent were wheat, corn, rice, soyabeans and palm oil.

Egypt has become a key importer of feed grains and oilseeds, driven by a large population and growing feed demand, according to the report.

Meanwhile, China’s rising feed demand was shifting grain and oilseed trade flows, Rabobank said.

“Low Chinese corn inventories and rising feed demand are the key drivers behind higher Chinese imports of corn and soyabeans and this is expected to continue, with annual imports potentially exceeding 30M tonnes,” Rabobank senior analyst (sugar, grains & oilseeds) Maria Afonso said.

Brazil’s future production growth was expected to continue to take the lead above the USA and Argentina, Rabobank said, with the country’s soyabean production forecast to reach 155M tonnes by 2030.

The report showed that the Danube and Black Sea region had emerged as the third largest grain and oilseed-exporting region worldwide, after the USA and Brazil.

By 2030, Rabobank expected this region to further strengthen its position due to its strategic location close to large-consuming and fast-growing regions, strong price competitiveness, good-quality soil and sufficient growth potential in land bank and yields.