Palm oil industry worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Palm oil is a vegetable oil obtained from oil palms and is used in many consumer goods, from processed food to biofuel. In recent years, worldwide production of palm oil has increased in volume to meet demand. Indonesia is the leading producer of palm oil, with a recorded 41.5 million thousand metric tons of palm oil produced in 2018/2019. Malaysia, which produces the second-largest amount of palm oil, is headquarters to the majority of the leading palm oil companies.

As might be expected from the largest production sources, Indonesia and Malaysia are also the largest exporters of palm oil worldwide, shipping out a total of over 48 million of the approximately 53 million metric tons that were exported in 2019/2020. India imports the most palm oil of any country, with an import value of about seven billion U.S. dollars for 2018.

Within the United States, the estimated value of the palm oil market has steadily risen since 2015 and is expected to grow through 2022. In 2004, just under 770 million pounds of palm oil was imported into the United States. Most of the palm oil sold on the U.S. market is edible oil used in processed food.

Since 2016, the consumption of palm oil within the European Union has decreased. Environmental concerns about palm oil cultivation include deforestation and air pollution, which has led a significant number of consumers to seek alternatives. Indonesia increased efforts to have certified sustainable hectares of palm oil plantations, where plantations follow specific social and environmental standards. However, with just under two million hectares certified, the rest of the 12 million hectares of the country's oil palm plantations are not certified sustainable. In Latin America, just over 340 thousand hectares planted with oil palm trees have a sustainability certification.

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Palm oil industry worldwide

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