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Soybean Oil Mar '18 (ZLH18)

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Barchart Symbol ZL
Exchange Symbol ZL
Contract Soybean Oil
Exchange CBOT
Tick Size 0.01 points ($6.00 per contract)
Daily Limit 2.5 cents per pound ($1,500 per contract) Expanded limit 4.0 cents
Contract Size 60,000 pounds
Trading Months Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec (F, H, K, N, Q, U, V, Z)
Trading Hours 7:00p.m. - 7:45a.m. and 8:30a.m. - 1:20p.m. (Sun-Fri) CST
Value of One Futures Unit $600
Value of One Options Unit $600
Last Trading Day The business day prior to the 15th calendar day of the contract month


Soybean oil is the natural oil extracted from whole soybeans. Typically, about 19% of a soybean's weight can be extracted as crude soybean oil. The oil content of U.S. soybeans correlates directly with the temperatures and amount of sunshine during the soybean pod-filling stages. Edible products produced with soybean oil include cooking and salad oils, shortening, and margarine. Soybean oil is the most widely used cooking oil in the U.S. It accounts for 80% of margarine production and for more than 75% of total U.S. consumer vegetable fat and oil consumption. Soy oil is cholesterol-free and high in polyunsaturated fat. Soy oil is also used to produce inedible products such as paints, varnish, resins, and plastics. Of the edible vegetable oils, soy oil is the world's largest at about 32%, followed by palm oil and rapeseed oil.

Soybean oil futures and options are traded at the CME Group. Soybean Oil futures are also traded at ICE Futures U.S., the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), the JSE Securities Exchange, the Mercado a Termino de Buenos Aires (MTBA), the Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), and the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).

Prices - CME soybean oil futures prices ( electronic symbol ZL) on the nearest-futures chart showed some strength in early 2014 but then fell during the remainder of the year to post a new 5-year low and close the year of 2014 down -17.6% yr/yr at 31.97 cents per pound. Regarding cash prices for the year 2014-15 (through January 2015), the average monthly price of crude domestic soybean oil (in tank cars) in Decatur (F.O.B.) fell by -12.7% yr/yr to 33.37 cents per pound.

Supply - World production of soybean oil in 2014-15 rose +5.1% yr/yr to a new record high of 47.151 million metric tons. China accounts for 28.3% of world soybean oil production, while the U.S. accounts for 19.8%, and Argentina accounts for 15.4%. U.S. production of soybean oil in 2014-15 rose +2.7 % yr/yr to 20.680 billion pounds.

Demand - World consumption of soybean oil in 2014-15 rose +2.9% yr/yr to a new record high of 46.258 million metric tons. China accounted for 30.8% of world consumption, while the U.S. accounted for 18.0%, Brazil for 13.1%, and India for 7.5%. U.S. consumption of soybean oil in 2014-15 fell -2.7% yr/yr to 18.450 billion pounds.

Trade - World exports of soybean oil in 2014-15 rose +2.3% yr/yr to 9.445 million metric tons. U.S. exports of soybean oil in 2014-15 rose +11.9% yr/yr to 2.100 billion pounds, well below 2009-10 record high of 3.359 billion pounds.

Articles from the Commodity Research Bureau (CRB) Commodity Yearbook. The single most comprehensive source of commodity and futures market information available, the Yearbook is the book of record of the Commodity Research Bureau, which is, in turn, the organization of record for the commodity industry itself. Its sources - reports from governments, private industries, and trade and industrial associations - are authoritative, and its historical scope is second to none. Additional information can be found at More commodity data from Commodity Research Bureau.

More commodity data from Commodity Research Bureau.

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