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Worldwide production of vegetable oil is forecast to reach record levels in the 2023/24 marketing year, according to latest estimates by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported by Germany’s Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP).

The results would represent the third consecutive year of production growth, the 28 September UFOP report said.

According to USDA estimates, global vegetable oil production will total 222.8M tonnes in 2023/24.

The volume would be an increase of 6.5 tonnes compared to 2022/23 and would cover an estimated demand of 217.5M tonnes, the report said. Global ending stocks of vegetable oils would increase by approximately 0.1M tonnes to 30.6M tonnes.

Palm oil remained the most important vegetable oil on the world market, the report said.

According to research by Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft, global palm oil production is likely to increase for the third consecutive year, totalling 79.5M tonnes.

This would be an increase of 1.9M tonnes compared to the previous year and would mean palm oil accounted for 35.7% of total global vegetable oil production.

With an output of 47M tonnes, Indonesia remained the largest producer, followed by Malaysia with 19M tonnes and Thailand with just under 3.5M tonnes.

Global soyabean oil was expected to increase by 2.9% to 61.6M tonnes in the coming crop year and could reach a new record.

China remained the leading soyabean oil producer with total production of 17.2M tonnes.

However, China’s total production was based on large volumes of soyabean imports, the report said.

The USA ranked second with total production of 12.2M tonnes.

Sunflower oil production was also forecast to rise, based on increased availability due to planted area expansion. Global sunflower oil output was expected to total 21.7M tonnes, an increase of 0.6M tonnes compared to 2022/23.

Russia was expected to produce 6.6M tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 0.3M tonnes.

While production in the European Union (EU) and Ukraine was also expected to increase, a decline was forecast in Argentina, Turkey and the USA.

Rapeseed oil was set to exceed the previous year's volume by an estimated 400,000 tonnes in 2023/24, totalling 33M tonnes.

According to UFOP, global per capita supply of vegetable oils would cover food consumption, including processed products.