IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Linking soy oil demand from the US Renewable Fuel Standard to palm oil expansion through an analysis on vegetable oil price elasticities


  • Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano
  • Searle, Stephanie


The United States (US) Renewable Fuel Standard and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard support the use of soy biodiesel and renewable diesel in the transport fuel supply for climate mitigation. However, linkages between the markets for soy oil and palm oil, which is associated with very high land use change emissions, could negatively affect the climate performance of soy-based biofuels. This study estimates the own and cross-price elasticities for the supply of soy and palm oils in the US using country-level data from 1992 to 2016 under rational expectations, through a seemingly unrelated regressions system of equations. We find a positive cross-price elasticity of palm oil import with respect to soy oil price and a positive reaction of supply of soy oil to increase in prices of palm oil. These results suggest that US biofuel policies may underestimate substitution between soy and palm oils and thus overestimate the climate benefits from soy-based biofuel.

Suggested Citation

  • Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Searle, Stephanie, 2018. "Linking soy oil demand from the US Renewable Fuel Standard to palm oil expansion through an analysis on vegetable oil price elasticities," MPRA Paper 90248, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:90248

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Labandeira, Xavier & Labeaga, José M. & López-Otero, Xiral, 2017. "A meta-analysis on the price elasticity of energy demand," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 549-568.
    2. Marc Nerlove, 1979. "The Dynamics of Supply: Retrospect and Prospect," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 61(5), pages 874-888.
    3. Dahl, Carol & Duggan, Thomas E., 1996. "U.S. energy product supply elasticities: A survey and application to the U.S. oil market," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 243-263, October.
    4. Nerlove, Marc, 1972. "Lags in Economic Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 221-251, March.
    5. Walter C. Labys, 1977. "Multicommodity substitution patterns in the international fats and oils market," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 4(1), pages 75-84.
    6. Michael J. Roberts & Wolfram Schlenker, 2013. "Identifying Supply and Demand Elasticities of Agricultural Commodities: Implications for the US Ethanol Mandate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2265-2295, October.
    7. Sorda, Giovanni & Banse, Martin & Kemfert, Claudia, 2010. "An overview of biofuel policies across the world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6977-6988, November.
    8. Kojima, Yasutomo & Parcell, Joe & Cain, Jewelwayne, 2016. "A Global Demand Analysis of Vegetable Oils for Food and Industrial Use: A Cross-Country Panel Data Analysis with Spatial Econometrics," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235744, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Imbens, Guido W., 2014. "Instrumental Variables: An Econometrician's Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 8048, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Chen, Xiaoguang & Önal, Hayri, 2016. "Renewable energy policies and competition for biomass: Implications for land use, food prices, and processing industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 270-278.
    11. Gohin, A. & Chantret, F., 2010. "The long-run impact of energy prices on world agricultural markets: The role of macro-economic linkages," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 333-339, January.
    12. E. W. Goddard & S. Glance, 1989. "Demand for Fats and Oils in Canada, United States and Japan," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 37(3), pages 421-443, November.
    13. Fabio Santeramo, 2015. "A cursory review of the identification strategies," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-8, December.
    14. Cui, Jingbo & Martin, Jeremy I., 2017. "Impacts of US biodiesel mandates on world vegetable oil markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 148-160.
    15. Steven T. Yen & Wen S. Chern, 1992. "Flexible Demand Systems with Serially Correlated Errors: Fat and Oil Consumption in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(3), pages 689-697.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Dragan Miljkovic & Emilia Lamonaca, 2021. "Agri-food trade and climate change," Economia agro-alimentare, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 23(1), pages 1-18.
    2. Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano & Di Gioia, Leonardo & Lamonaca, Emilia, 2021. "Price responsiveness of supply and acreage in the EU vegetable oil markets: Policy implications," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    3. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca & Marco Tappi & Leonardo Di Gioia, 2019. "Considerations on the Environmental and Social Sustainability of Animal-Based Policies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(8), pages 1-12, April.
    4. Lee, Yunkyung, 2021. "Potential market and welfare effects of genetically edited technology in U.S. soybean production," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 314058, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Puneet Vatsa & Dragan Miljkovic, 2022. "Energy and crop price cycles before and after the global financial crisis: A new approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(1), pages 220-233, February.
    6. Lin, Cherng-Yuan & Lu, Cherie, 2021. "Development perspectives of promising lignocellulose feedstocks for production of advanced generation biofuels: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    7. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca, 2021. "Food Loss–Food Waste–Food Security: A New Research Agenda," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(9), pages 1-7, April.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Vicente E. Montano & Rosalia T. Gabronino & Restie E. Torres, 2019. "The curious relationship between agricultural and energy price index: A Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) analysis approach," Journal of Administrative and Business Studies, Professor Dr. Usman Raja, vol. 5(3), pages 161-177.
    2. Miranda, Mario J & Glauber, Joseph W, 1993. "Estimation of Dynamic Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models of Primary Commodity Markets with Private and Government Stockholding," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 463-470, August.
    3. Shonkwiler, John Scott & Hinckley, Suzanne, 1985. "A Generalized Supply Response/Factor Demand Model And Its Application To The Feeder Cattle Market," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 1-9, December.
    4. Md Zabid Iqbal & Bruce A. Babcock, 2018. "Global growing‐area elasticities of key agricultural crops estimated using dynamic heterogeneous panel methods," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(6), pages 681-690, November.
    5. JunJie Wu & Christian Langpap, 2015. "The Price and Welfare Effects of Biofuel Mandates and Subsidies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(1), pages 35-57, September.
    6. Iglesias Pinedo, Wilman J., 2021. "The impact of Renewable Energy Standards on the biomass supply and agricultural land demand in the US Great Plains Region," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 314085, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Tegene, Abebayehu, 1983. "A rational expectations approach to the modelling of agricultural supply: a case study of Iowa," ISU General Staff Papers 198301010800009963, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Choumert Nkolo, Johanna & Combes Motel, Pascale & Guegang Djimeli, Charlain, 2018. "Income-generating Effects of Biofuel Policies: A Meta-analysis of the CGE Literature," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 230-242.
    9. Dalia Ghanem & Aaron Smith, 2022. "Causality in structural vector autoregressions: Science or sorcery?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 104(3), pages 881-904, May.
    10. Rubaszek, Michał & Szafranek, Karol & Uddin, Gazi Salah, 2021. "The dynamics and elasticities on the U.S. natural gas market. A Bayesian Structural VAR analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    11. Nestor Le Clech & Carmen Fillat‐Castejón, 2017. "International aggregate agricultural supply for grain and oilseed: The effects of efficiency and technological change," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(4), pages 569-585, September.
    12. Hindriks, Jean & Serse, Valerio, 2022. "The incidence of VAT reforms in electricity markets: Evidence from Belgium," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    13. Kolb, Sebastian & Plankenbühler, Thomas & Frank, Jonas & Dettelbacher, Johannes & Ludwig, Ralf & Karl, Jürgen & Dillig, Marius, 2021. "Scenarios for the integration of renewable gases into the German natural gas market – A simulation-based optimisation approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    14. Bodisco, Timothy & Brown, Richard J., 2013. "Inter-cycle variability of in-cylinder pressure parameters in an ethanol fumigated common rail diesel engine," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 55-65.
    15. Aruga, Kentaka, 2011. "非遺伝子組換え大豆とエネルギーの価格関係について [Relationships among the Non-Genetically Modified Soybean and Energy Prices]," MPRA Paper 38186, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Aug 2011.
    16. Wolfram Schlenker, 2018. "Introduction to "Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior"," NBER Chapters, in: Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior, pages 1-9, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Bernardina Algieri, 2014. "A roller coaster ride: an empirical investigation of the main drivers of the international wheat price," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 459-475, July.
    18. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2014. "Do oil price increases cause higher food prices? [Biofuels, binding constraints, and agricultural commodity price volatility]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(80), pages 691-747.
    19. Lippert, Christian & Feuerbacher, Arndt & Narjes, Manuel, 2021. "Revisiting the economic valuation of agricultural losses due to large-scale changes in pollinator populations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    20. Rosa, Franco & Vasciaveo, Michela & Weaver, Robert D., 2014. "Agricultural and oil commodities: price transmission and market integration between US and Italy," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), vol. 3(2), pages 1-25, August.

    More about this item


    Biofuel; Price elasticity; Oils market; SURE;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:90248. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.