Palm oil industry as share of GDP in Malaysia 2011-2018

In 2018, the GDP contribution from palm oil in Malaysia was estimated to be around 2.8 percent of its GDP. Palm oil is one of Malaysia’s primary industries, and its main agricultural export globally.

Importance of palm oil to the Malaysian economy

Malaysia is the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil, after Indonesia. In 2018, it exported around 15.4 million metric tons of palm oil and palm-based products. These exports were valued at around 67.52 billion Malaysian ringgit. All in all, the palm oil industry contributed around 37.6 billion ringgit to Malaysia’s total gross domestic product.

Outlook of the palm oil industry

In recent years, concerns about the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment, as well as the rise of protectionism in the global economy, has threatened Malaysia’s palm oil industry. The European Union, Malaysia’s most valuable export market, had effectively passed a law to phase out the use of palm oil in biofuels by 2030. In 2019, another major export market, India, introduced tariffs on palm oil imports.

To counter the volatility in global palm oil demand, Indonesia, the commodity’s largest producer and exporter, had introduced policies to increase domestic consumption through biofuels. Malaysia’s domestic consumption of palm oil, however, is but a small fraction of what it exports. It would therefore need to do more to secure a market for its palm oil.

Contribution of the palm oil industry to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Malaysia from 2011 to 2018

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2011 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Values from 2015 onwards at constant 2015 prices. Values prior to 2015 were at constant 2010 prices.

** Value for 2017 is an estimate, while value for 2018 is preliminary.

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Statistics on "Palm oil industry in Malaysia"

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