Oilseeds Trading

Oilseeds are rich in protein and unsaturated fat, making them good sources of protein and concentrated sources of energy. An oilseed often contains essential nutrients and fatty acids required in our diets which our bodies do not naturally produce.

Oilseeds and their derivatives are sold to various consumers and end users for different purposes. They can be used as animal feed (soy meal), edible (vegetable) oils and also for industrial purposes (e.g. varnishes, plastics, printing inks).

Redstone Commodity Search have a strong network within the global oilseeds markets, particularly in the United States and Canada, Asia Pacific and EMEA.

All candidates are screened and interviewed for every position to ensure their suitability and relevance to our clients’ requirements (find out more). Our agriculture team has a deep understanding of the oilseeds industry and their trading and has completed assignments across the globe; Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, USA, and LATAM.

Recent mandates our agriculture team has been responsible for have included:

  • Specialty Edible Oils Trader, USA
  • Palm Oil Trader, Singapore
  • Soybean Meal Trader, Indonesia
  • Oilseeds Operations Executive, USA
  • Soybean Analyst, UAE

The Different Oilseeds

Oilseeds are a variety of seed grown primarily for the extraction of their edible oil. Vegetable oils provide dietary energy and some essential fatty acids.

Examples of oil producing crops are:

  • Rapeseed
  • Sunflower
  • Hemp
  • Poppy
  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Mustard
  • Peanut
  • Canola
  • Flaxseed (linseed)
  • Copra
  • Cottonseed
  • Palm Kernel

Crushers are used to extract oil from oilseed. After the cleaning and heating stages, seeds with a high oil content are mechanically pressed in expellers or in a screw press. The expeller cake (press cake) is then subjected to one of two further extractions as the expeller cake might still contain up to 18 per cent of oil. Oil may be extracted using either hexane (solvent) extraction or cold pressing in the expeller.

The oil which is produced during the extraction process if referred to as crude oil. In most cases, the crude oils obtained by pressing and/or extraction are refined in a multistage process. However, they are sometimes used directly for food and feed purposes.

There are two quality types of oil.

  • Edible oils – Often encountered as an odourless frying oil low in unsaturated fats. It is also an ingredient in many food products, particularly where a healthy oil is required.
  • Industrial oils – Are not edible but have been bred to contain high levels of compounds which are critical for some industrial processes. Some edible types of oil, however, are also used industrially.

How are Oilseeds Traded?

The oilseed industry is global and exports vary from country to country. Soybeans are by far the highest produced and traded product. Key soybean producing countries are the USA, South America (Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina), China and India. Producers of rapeseed include Australia, Canada and the EU (Rouen) while sunflower producers include the EU (Bordeaux) and Ukraine.

The biggest importers of oilseeds include China, the EU, Mexico, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, Pakistan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Egypt.

Growers typically prefer to sell their oilseeds to the nearest elevators to avoid high transportation costs. Similarly, elevators and processing plants prefer to sell to customers in their region to avoid high barge and rail freight costs. Most large international shipments of oilseeds are shipped in vessels and bulk carriers. Export elevators typically sell their product FOB (free on board) to their customers.

How are Oilseeds Transported?

Oilseeds are usually shipped in bulk or in bags. Small changes in moisture content dependent on the condition of the atmosphere will not normally cause damage to oilseeds however if seeds are stored in a confined space, lack of ventilation may lead to heating, sweating and the deterioration of the seeds, affecting their value.

Who are the Customers?

  • Vegetable oil refineries
  • Biodiesel producers
  • Crush plants
  • Animal feed manufacturers
  • Food processors
  • Food service operators
  • Aquaculture operators
  • Soy protein (e.g. tofu, tempeh) producers

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