The global production of vegetable oils has seen a steady increase since the beginning of the century, reaching a peak of 208.8 million metric tons in 2021/2022. The most common vegetable oil types include palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. In the 2022/2023 crop year, soybeans were the leading type of oilseed in the world. That year, about 388 million metric tons of soybeans were produced worldwide.
Palm oil is a common oil in consumer products and processed foods. It is produced by harvesting palm fruit from the oil palm tree and extracting the oil from the fruit. Palm oil stands out from other types of oil because the yield is very high for a relatively small area of land use. The global production volume of palm oil has risen steadily over the last several years, aside from a slight drop in 2019/2020, and there is a large and active export market for palm oil. As of 2022/2023, the leading exporters of palm oil worldwide were Indonesia and Malaysia.
Vegetable oil consumption
In terms of consumption as a food product, vegetable oils are seen as the healthier alternative as they contain more unsaturated fatty acids than animal fats. A recent survey revealed that olive oil, vegetable oil and pure canola oil are most frequently used in U.S. households for preparing salads or cooking. In 2021/22, sunflower seed oil consumption amounted to 18 million metric tons worldwide. Soybean oil has the highest level of consumption of any edible oil in the United States in 2022. In that year, Americans consumed about 11.5 million metric tons of soybean oil, compared to about 1.7 million metric tons of palm oil.
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