As one of the most traded vegetable oils, the significance of palm oil to the global economy is gaining momentum. Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) and its main products include crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel oil (PKO). Palm oil is the world’s highest yielding oil crop, with an output 5–10 times greater per hectare than other leading vegetable oils. Combined with factors such as low priced, relative shelf stability, and nutritional benefits, palm oil will remain an important commodity of global diet. Palm oil is majorly used in food as cooking oil, in oleochemicals industry for manufacturing soaps, cosmetics, detergents, lubricants and glues and also as a raw material for biodiesel.
Indonesia and Malaysia are the leading producers of palm oil accounting for 87% of world production in 2011/12. Rapidly expanding population and changing consumption patterns, as well as increasing demand from the bioenergy and oleochemicals industries, have resulted in increased consumption of palm oil. In most regions like the EU, the US, and Brazil, biodiesel mandates have been tightened and has thus increased the usage of biofuels. Major importing countries of palm oil include India, China, EU-27 and Pakistan. The prices of CPO had been fluctuating over the past year due to Euro-zone debt crisis and stockpiling in Malaysia. Recently the Malaysian Government had reduced CPO export tax in order to compete with top producer, Indonesia and clear excess stock. Due to challenges such as limited land availability, labour problems and environmental issues, the focus has now shifted to yield growth and creating a sustainable and traceable value chain. Emergence of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) or green palm oil has attracted many multinationals and buyers.
The report analyzes the global palm oil industry, its production, consumption, imports and exports. It extensively covers the palm oil market in the two major producing regions, Malaysia and Indonesia; as well as the two major consuming regions, India and China. The report discusses the major drivers and key issues related to the palm oil industry. The four major players in the palm oil industry include Wilmar International, Sime Darby, IOI International, and PT Astra Agro. All these players have been profiled in the report, along with their financials and strategies for growth.