Friday, June 26, 2015

Palm Oil Facts & Figures

• Oil palm is the most efficient oilseed crop in the world.
• One hectare of oil palm plantation is able to produce up to ten times more oil than other leading oilseed
crops. (Refer to Figure 1)
• The most efficient producers may achieve yields as high as eight tonnes of oil per hectare.
• Among the 10 major oilseeds, oil palm accounted for 5.5% of global land use for cultivation, but produced
32.0% of global oils and fats output in 2012. (Refer to Figure 2 and Figure 3)
• Indonesia and Malaysia produce about 85% of the world’s palm oil. Other producer countries include
Thailand, Columbia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Ecuador

• Palm oil is one of the 17 major oils and fats produced globally. China is the largest consumer of oils and fats,
followed by the EU, India, and the United States. (Refer to Figure 4)
• Among the 17 oils and fats, palm oil was the highest consumed oil in 2012, reaching three billion people in
150 countries. (Refer to Figure 5 and Figure 6)
• High palm oil consumption countries include China, India, Indonesia, and the European Union.
• Global consumption for palm oil was 52.1 million tonnes in 2012. (Refer to Figure 5)
• Palm oil is competitively priced against soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oil in the world‘s market for oils
and fats. (Refer to Figure 7).

• Palm oil is one of the few vegetable oils in the market with a crop-specific sustainable certification standard,
the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
• The RSPO brings together stakeholders, including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and social
groups along the process value chain of palm oil production to promote the growth and use of sustainable
palm oil products.
Oil palm produces two different types of oils: palm oil and palm kernel oil.
Palm oil is used in a wide variety of food products such as cooking oil, shortenings and margarine. Palm kernel oil
is a raw material in the production of non-food products which include soaps, detergents, toiletries, cosmetics
and candles.
Palm oil is increasingly being used as feedstock for biofuel although its primary use remains for food.
Palm oil is a balanced oil with a unique chemical composition that offers greater advantages compared to other
vegetable oils:
• It has a longer shelf life as it does not become easily rancid.
• Unlike other vegetable oils, palm oil is naturally semi-solid and does not need to undergo hydrogenation*
to make it suitable for solid applications. The hydrogenation process is responsible for the formation of
trans fatty acids which are detrimental to health.
*Hydrogenation is a chemical process that turns liquid oil into semi-solid form for the manufacturing of food products. It produces trans fatty acids
that have higher levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (“bad cholesterol”) and lower levels of High-Density Lipoprotien (“good cholesterol”).
• Oils and fats are vital nutrients required by the human body to achieve and maintain good health. There are
two types of natural fats - saturated and unsaturated fats.
• An adequate amount of fat is necessary in the human diet for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Palm
oil provides the right amounts of fat in a balanced diet.
• Vitamins A and E, essential for the normal growth and development of the human body, is obtained through
food consumption.
• All vegetable oils contain natural vitamin E in compounds such as tocopherols and tocotrienols. Palm oil
has the richest known content of natural tocotrienols. Studies have shown that tocotrienol helps lower bad
cholesterol levels and protects the brain against diseases.
• Palm oil is also high in carotenoids, a rich source of vitamin A. Carotenoids can be stored in the body and be
converted to vitamin A when needed. Vitamin A stimulates the immune system and controls the growth and
functions of body tissues. Red palm oil, or mildly refined palm oil, has seventeen times more carotenoids
than carrots.
• Palm oil is cholesterol-free and trans fat free. It is composed mainly of triglycerides of fatty acid with
a balanced composition between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The latter comprises 40%
monounsaturated and 10% polyunsaturated fat.
• 62% of Malaysia’s land area is forest and this includes some of the world’s oldest rainforests.
• Malaysia’s forests are home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna that contribute to the natural preservation
of the ecology.
• A recent study by Forest Resource Assessment reveals the forest area by country:
• As at December 2012, Malaysian oil palm accounted for just 1.97% (5.1 million hectares) of the total
258.9 million hectares planted with the 10 major oilseed crops globally.
• Yet, this 1.97% was able to supply a total of 10.0% (18.8 million tonnes) of global vegetable oils and fats
output in 2012. (Source: Oil World 2013)
• Malaysian palm oil accounted for 24.1% (17.6 million tonnes) of the total global trade of oils and fats in
2011. (Source: Oil World 2013)
• In Malaysia, oil palm plantations make up 77% of agricultural land or about 15% of total land area.
(Source: MPOB 2012)
• Sime Darby produces 2.44 million tonnes or 5% of the world’s crude palm oil output annually.