The USDA’s Oilseeds Forecasts For 2023/24 in 6 Pictures

Insight Focus

  • Global vegetable protein stocks will build.
  • Vegetable oil demand will grow strongly thanks to renewable diesel.
  • These forecasts may be dependent on Argentina’s economy recovering.

What the USDA just forecasted for global vegetable protein meal and oil production and consumption for the 2023/24 marketing year (see USDA’s explanatory note at the end of this note) in 6 pictures (big thumbs up to whomever prepared the USDA’s Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade May 2023. Very well done!)

Picture 1

The marketing year will feature a significant expansion in protein production and consumption will not keep pace and so global ending stocks will build (spoiler alert, Argentina recovers to make this forecast possible).

Brazilian record soybean production leads to record Chinese imports. No surprise there.


Picture 2

Global soybean meal consumption goes to its highest percent increase in four years and other protein meals revert to their consumption mean (because there is plenty of soybean meal that knocks them out of the feed ingredient mix, spoiler alert 2, because Argentine recovers).


Picture 3

Three words: global biofuels policy (in the US known as biomass-based diesel primarily renewable diesel).


Picture 4

Global protein meal consumption steps up again; the other category (countries not making the USDA’s 6 million metric ton consumption cutoff to be highlighted and named but collectively the largest non-China global user) really steps up sequentially; and ending stocks increase just enough for consumers to breathe a bit easier (but, spoiler alert 3, requires Argentina to successfully recover).


Picture 5

Said recovery. Sequential record crop from Brazil. Record Chinese imports. Generous ending stocks.


Picture 6

USDA’s economists’ big bet: an Argentine miracle recovery.

Summary: none of the above conclusions are valid if this Argentine recovery fails to materialize.

Question: do you think those of us in the global oilseed business will be watching Argentina very closely starting in January 2024 as it is the focus of all these pictures?

Answer: yes.


USDA’s explanation of marketing years:

Marketing Years (MY): MY refers to the 12-month period at the onset of the main harvest, when the crop is marketed (i.e., consumed, traded, or stored). The year first listed begins a country’s MY for that commodity (2022/23 starts in 2022); except for oilseeds in certain Southern Hemisphere countries, where the second year begins the MY (2022/23 starts in 2023). For a complete list of local marketing years, please see the FAS website ( go to Reports, Reference Data, and then Data Availability.

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Walter Cronin

Walter Cronin

Walter was the Chief Commercial Officer at Green Plains Inc. until August 2021. From August of 2015 until January of 2020 Mr. Cronin served as the Executive Vice President for Commercial Operations. Prior to that, Mr. Cronin was the Chief Investment Officer of Green Plains Asset Management LLC. GPAM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Plains Inc.(NASDAQ: GPRE). Mr. Cronin has served in that role since November 2011. Mr. Cronin served as Executive Vice President and trading principal of County Cork Asset Management from April 2010 to November 2011 when it was merged with GPAM. Mr. Cronin acted as a consultant to Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG), a multinational grain trader and oilseed processor, for which he served as a consultant developing trading and risk models for agricultural futures trading from September 2004 through March 2010. From February 1997 through June 2004, Mr. Cronin co-managed the Crush, Fundamental, and Ag-Spread programs at Kottke Associates, a commodity trading advisor based in Chicago. Prior to that time, Mr. Cronin was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and managed the commercial grain operations for RJ O’Brien Futures from November 1994 through January 1997. From August 1989 until October 1994, Mr. Cronin traded grains and managed grain facilities in multiple locations for Continental Grain Company, and from February 1988 through May 1989, Mr. Cronin worked for the Henning and Krajewski clearing firm at the Chicago Board of Trade. Mr. Cronin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya from September 1985 through December 1987. Mr. Cronin received a BA from the University of Santa Clara in 1985

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