Summary of our market study

The global oilseed market has experienced significant growth, with a notable surge in prices following the onset of the war in Ukraine, particularly impacting the cost of sunflower oil. In 2021, France's oilseed production stood at 5734.6 thousand tons, with rapeseed dominating at over 57% of the total output. Internationally, the United States, Brazil, and Argentina are the leading soybean producers, while Indonesia and Malaysia top the palm oil production. Despite the growth, the market faced challenges in 2022 due to geopolitical tensions which heavily influenced pricing and supply.

Organic oilseed consumption is on the rise, reflecting wider consumer trends towards healthier and more sustainable food choices, with organic products gaining a new market share.

In 2020, the French organic market hit 13.2 billion euros, and organic products accounted for 6.5% of household food expenditure in France, indicating an inclination towards organic consumption in the face of health-driven demand.

Dynamic Growth and Trends in the French Oilseed Market

The French oilseed market has experienced robust growth fueled by steady domestic consumption and industrial diversification. As French consumers increasingly favor healthy and sustainable food options, the demand for oilseeds has soared, subsequently propelling the industry forward. In recent years, focus on non-animal consumption and organic markets has intensified. Non-food uses of oilseeds, namely their derivatives such as biodiesel, have been gaining traction, highlighting the market's versatility.

The move towards green energy and sustainable practices has contributed to increased utilization of oilseeds in fuels, lubricants, and various industrial applications. Organic oilseeds have become a significant area of interest, with France seeing soaring demand matched by growing cultivation areas. In 2020, the organic market reached an impressive value of over 10 billion euros, indicating robust consumer interest in eco-friendly products.

As of 2020, oilseed imports and exports were revealing a market in flux, with a remarkable growth of around 15% from the previous years, although recent geopolitical tensions have added volatility to global prices and supply chains.

The French rapeseed market appears dominant within the country, with consumption variations reflecting a complex interplay of supply, demand, and external factors. The consumption of rapeseed oil experienced a sharp increase of approximately 300% over a decade before stabilizing. Other segments like sunflower and soybeans have shown moderate fluctuations, indicating a market responsive to both domestic and international forces.

In terms of production, France's regional distribution indicates strategic agricultural strengths, with areas like Centre-Val de Loire and New Aquitaine leading in oilseed production. These regions, along with Occitania, contribute significantly to the national output, balancing between high-yield and extensive cultivation areas. France's adherence to regulations underpins the market's structure, ensuring stability and proper marketing through designated organizations.

Consumer preferences are leaning towards products like organic and biodiesel oilseeds, pushing market players to innovate and invest in these growing segments. Overall, the French oilseed market's trajectory appears promising, bolstered by its alignment with global sustainability trends and evolving consumer patterns.

Key Market Players in the French Oilseed Industry

The French oilseed sector is characterized by a robust presence of both agricultural groups and associations dedicated to fostering the growth and innovation within the industry.

  • At the forefront of this landscape is the Avril Group, a conglomerate with deep roots in agriculture and one of France's top food groups with distinguished brands such as Lesieur and Puget. Notably, the Avril Group is not just a producer but also actively engaged in the marketing of oilseed products, leveraging its 40 years of experience to maintain a strong position in the market. Lesieur, a subsidiary of the Avril Group, is particularly renowned for its production and marketing expertise, especially when it comes to vegetable oils. Its strong market presence is complemented by Puget, another subsidiary known for its quality oil products. Both companies have well-established brand identities and contribute significantly to the group's industry footprint. Within the innovative landscape, Oléoinnov stands out, a recent creation of the Avril Group, which is poised to contribute new insights and products to the market space.


  • Meanwhile, associations such as Arvalis, Fileg, and Vitoga play critical roles in the industry's growth. These farmer's associations aim to support development, bolster cohesion among partners, and champion innovative agricultural practices.


  • Additionally, the French market hosts numerous specialized production sites dedicated to the various stages of oilseed processing, such as crushing, oil refining, conditioning, and pre-treatment. These facilities process multiple types of oilseeds, including rapeseed, sunflower, and soybean, highlighting the comprehensive and integrated nature of the industry's production capabilities.


  • The collective efforts of these dominant market players and associated entities have created a dynamic environment in which the French oilseed industry continues to thrive, adapt, and evolve to meet the demands of a changing global market.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Oilseeds are plants whose seeds and fruits (rich in fat) are used for human and animal food, but also for energy and industrial purposes. The oil is extracted by the process of trituration, an operation of crushing by friction. Among the main seeds used are rapeseed, sunflower, peanut, soybean, and sesame.

The world oilseed market has shown solid growth in recent years. It benefits from the increase in world demand and the new consumption habits of emerging countries. Not only are oilseeds essential in animal and human food, but they are also increasingly used for industrial and energy purposes.

Among the recent developments on the oilseed market in France, an unprecedented price surge has been observed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Grain and oilseed prices have risen very rapidly. Ukraine was among the top 5 grain exporters in the world before the conflict, and a key exporter of sunflower oil to the European Union.

1.2 Global market

The world oilseed market is a very dynamic market, as shown by the data in the graph below, taken from the OECD and FAO agricultural outlook.

From **** to ****, world soybean production is expected to increase by +**.*%, protein meal production by +**.*% and vegetable oil production by +**.*%.

World oilseed production and forecasts World, ...

1.3 National market

In total, ****.* thousand tons of oilseeds were produced in France in ****.

In that same year, France had ****.* thousand hectares of cultivation area and has **.* thousand tons of yield per hectare.

On the graph below, which reports data from a conjunctural report of FranceAgriMer dated March ****, we can see that France produces ...

1.4 Foreign trade

Until ****, when imports and exports were almost equal, France exported more oilseeds than it imported.

Moreover, exports were clearly on the rise from **** to **** with a variation of +**.*%, as were imports, which increased by almost as much over the same period (***).

Foreign trade in oilseeds France, ****-****, millions of $USD Source: ...

1.5 Effects of the war in Ukraine on the market

The oilseed market has recently been disrupted at the global level by the events taking place in Ukraine (***). Ukraine is a country that is a champion of agriculture, but today, with the Black Sea occupied, agricultural production can no longer leave the country, which upsets the prices of several raw materials ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 French oilseed consumption

France is a producer of oilseeds, but also a consumer. the following graph contains data on total oilseed consumption in France, as well as details by type. It can be seen that rapeseed oil consumption exploded in the ****s, rising from *** thousand tonnes consumed annually in **** to **** thousand tonnes in ****, a ...

2.2 Non-animal consumption

There are many uses for oilseed derivatives, their consumption can be human, animal, but also neither, as in the case of biodiesel. This product has been used for a long time, and since the end of the **th century more research has been conducted to determine all the possible uses of ...

2.3 Dried oleaginous fruits

The oil seeds are the "embryos" of the plants, while the oleaginous dried fruits are dried fruits. Among the oleaginous dried fruits we find:

Walnuts Almonds Hazelnuts Prunes Cashew nuts Macadamia nuts Figs Apricots Pistachios Dates

These oilseeds are rich in proteins, lipids, fibers, but also in nutrients such as calcium, ...

2.4 A new market share: organic consumption

With the Covid-** crisis, the health concerns of French consumers have been brought to the forefront of their food expectations.

The trend of healthy, sustainable, local and seasonal consumption is therefore becoming more and more established, with a particular craze for "homemade" products. In ****, more than half of French people say ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Geographical distribution of French production

In France, oilseed production can be summarized in three major sub-sectors: rapeseed (***), sunflower and soybean.

The data in the map and table below, taken from a FranceAgriMer economic report dating from March ****, give us valuable information on the most productive French regions, all oilseeds combined.

In first place, we find the ...

3.2 The different production units

Several production steps are necessary for the production of oilseeds.

Oilseed production sites

France, ****

Source: ****

Translation : Trituration = crushing; Estérification = esterification; Raffinage et/ou conditionnement huiles végétales = Refinement and/or plant oils packaging; Prétraitement graisses animales, huiles usagées = Pre-treatment of animal fats, waste oils

It can be ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Raw material prices

The oilseed market, being a raw material market, depends on the real time price of the inputs that make it up.

The graph below shows the evolution of the average price of all oilseeds combined, based on a **** base of ***. The variation is quite wide.

After having been rather stable for ...

4.2 Product overview

Oilseeds are very rich in fat, which gives them a high oil content.

French rapeseed is type **. Their characteristic is the absence of erucic acid, and also low quantities of glucosinolates. The graph below shows the data on their composition: in a rapeseed, we find mostly fat (***).

Composition of rapeseed France, ...

4.3 Organic products, a French asset

The consumption of organically grown oilseeds is a trend that is becoming more and more important in the daily life of the French people. In order to meet this demand, their cultivation has increased considerably in recent years in France.

The graph below shows the area of organic oilseed cultivation in ...

5 Regulation

5.1 French regulations

The marketing of oilseeds is carried out by collecting organizations declared to FranceAgriMer.

The laws that apply to the production and trade of oilseeds in France are those that make up Chapter VI of the French Rural and Maritime Fishing Code "Les céréales" (***).

These laws are easily consulted here ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

Avril *th French food group (***) active for ** years : producer

The farmers' associations are numerous, and their goal is to promote the development of their partners, strengthen their cohesion and innovation.

  • Puget Lesieur (Avril Groupe)
  • Lesieur (Avril Groupe)
  • Oléoinnov

List of charts presented in this market study

  • World oilseed production and forecast
  • Annual oilseed production
  • Foreign trade in oilseeds
  • Main oilseed export countries
  • Main oilseed import countries
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Latest news

Meatless meals: Lesieur puts its plant-based cooking at the heart of meals - 08/10/2023
  • Lesieur was created in 1908. Lesieur was acquired by the Avril Group in 2022.
  • Lesieur aims to capture 5% of the vegetable market within two years.
  • Growth in the vegetal market is 5%.
  • The plant-based market represents some 430 million euros, and includes sales of plant-based beverages, ultra-fresh products and fresh delicatessen products.
  • Lesieur plans to launch new recipes in 2024 and 2025.
Lesieur bets on 100% plant-based ready meals - 28/06/2023
  • Lesieur, a company over 100 years old, enters the plant-based meal market with the Ma Popote brand
  • Objective: to conquer the fast-growing plant-based market.
  • The plant-based market has grown by 5% in two years and is currently estimated at over 427 million euros, two-thirds of which is generated by fresh produce.
  • The Avril Group, home to Lesieur, acquired Vivien Paille in 2022, a company specializing in vegetables, cereals and rice.
  • With the edible oil market in decline, Lesieur sees Ma Popote as a growth driver.
  • The company forecasts that the vegetable market will account for 5% of its sales in two years' time.
Lesieur launches plant-based ready meals - 04/04/2023
  • Launch of Lesieur's "Ma Popote!" range in May.
  • Offering around ten vegetable products.
  • Acquisition of Vivien Paille by Groupe Avril in June 2022, a French specialist in pulses and cereals and one of the industrial partners for this project.
  • Launch of a pesticide-free Puget olive oil in 2023.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Puget Lesieur (Avril Groupe)
Lesieur (Avril Groupe)

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