Oilseeds are defined as grains that are also valuable for the oil content they produce—most of the time they are usually grown for this purpose. Crops that fall under this category include soybeans, sunflowers, rapeseed (canola), cotton, peanuts, flax (linseed) and castor beans.
Typical oil content of small grains like wheat are about 1-2 percent, but that of oilseeds can range from about 20 percent (soybeans) to over 40 percent (sunflowers and rapeseed). Majority of the oils are edible and used in the food manufacturing industry, but there are also others like of flax or castor beans that are used for industrial purposes.
Deemed similar in properties but healthier than the typical cooking oil, edible vegetable oils are becoming more popular among consumers of today, especially with ‘fattening’ dairy products such as margarine, butter or lard.
The oilseed processing market is being driven by this, and MarketsandMarkets predict it will reach a value of US$344 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 7.37 percent between 2016 and 2022.
Particularly, they project that charting the fastest growth will be the soybean segment. They attribute this to a growing and strong demand for meal with high protein content from the feed industry, which will lead to an increase in production of soybean in Asian countries.
By application, the food segment accounted for the largest share in the oilseed processing market in 2015. An increase was observed of application of Oilseed processed products such as edible oil in various food products. The market researcher expects a further growth of this to be witnessed in the coming years, owing to the increasing populations in countries such as India and China.
The rapidly growing economies of various Asian countries too (including India and China) also resulted in the Asia Pacific region accounting for the largest market for oilseed processing. This is also expected to continue throughout the forecast period.