The Value of U.S. Soybean Oil: Beyond the Price and Protein

July 11, 2022 Ohio Soybean Council

By Brandelyn Twellman

What started as 300 samples o f soybean oil collected from origins around the world has improved the buying experience for crushers and refiners across the globe. Gone are the days of determining value by price and protein alone. The U.S. Soybean Export Council’s Soybean Oil Value Calculator, funded by U.S. soybean farmers and their checkoff, is an innovative tool which enables customers to make decisions based on the nutrient value of soy, oil quality and refining yield by country of origin, rather than merely its crude protein content and/or price, allowing real-time comparison.

Its purpose? While the calculator tangibly allows for real-world value comparisons and cost differentiations, USSEC created this innovative tool to go beyond the buying process and spark collaboration between members of a team.

“With the Soybean Oil Value Calculator, USSEC has provided more information to international buyers on the value of their soybean oil,” said Will McNair, USSEC Director of Human Nutrition and Oil. “It helps to start a conversation among those in many different roles and functions, whether they are working for crushers, refiners and other customers.

It allows people in commercial operations and refining roles to come together so they can clearly see that soybean oil isn’t just about the lowest price. It’s about getting a high-quality oil that enables you to spend less on refining or produce a higher refining yield.”


The Soybean Oil Value Calculator quantifies the economic value of processing soybean oil by origin through identifying characteristics that contribute to refining cost differences. Three-hundred soybean oil samples were collected from U.S., Argentine and Brazilian origins. Working with a variety of refining experts, USSEC determined the profile of the samples and gathered estimated costs of refining each.

The Soy Oil Value Calculator analyzes soybean oil refining yield, revenue potential of refined soybean oil, cost of crude degummed soybean oil, and refining costs  neutralizing, bleaching, utilities). Characteristics evaluated include free fatty acids, color, Neutral Oil Loss and more. Comparing soybean oil from the U.S. and South America, U.S. Soy exhibits a higher value proposition, solidified through use of the calculator. This online tool enables data input and analysis of value by individual users.

“We’re using real-world data collected to create a profile of different origins of soybean oil,” McNair said. “Customers can then access USSEC’s Soybean Oil Value Calculator, plug in their numbers, and receive a personalized cost estimate in their preferred currency.”

By enabling customers to insert their own data into the calculator such as capacity and expenses, crushers and refiners use this innovative tool to analyze the estimated refining benefit of using U.S. Soy. The analysis and Soy Oil Value Calculator shows the superior value of U.S. soybean oil. It also validates why U.S. soybean oil can be more valuable to the end users compared with soy from other origins. The data provided includes increased revenue from decreased refining loss and the actual cost associated with refining.

The calculator has expanded the value of soybean oil and provided buyers a firsthand look at the U.S. Soy advantage. USSEC plans to build forward. With 300 additional samples currently being collected, the research, analysis and comparison will continue into the foreseeable future, saving crushers and refiners both time and money for years to come.

Interested crushers and refiners can dive into the Soybean  Oil Value Calculator at calculator.