Plant oils are attractive substrates for the chemical industry. Their scope for the production of chemicals can be expanded by sophisticated catalytic conversions. Olefin metathesis is an example, which also illustrates generic issues of “biorefining” to chemicals. Utilization on a large scale requires high catalyst activities, which influences the choice of the metathesis reaction. The mixture of different fatty acids composing a technical-grade plant oil substrate gives rise to a range of products. This decisively determines possible process schemes, and potentially provides novel chemicals and intermediates not employed to date.