Wilmar International Limited is a Singapore-based company engaging in the integrated agribusiness sector, with its operating companies distributed across Asia and Africa. The company was co-founded by Kuok Khoon Hong and Martua Sitorus in 1991. Since its beginnings as Wilmar Trading Pte Ltd with only five employees, Wilmar has come a long way, currently with employees across different countries. . It has become one of Asia’s leading agricultural and food companies and sits among companies with the largest market capitalization on the Singapore Exchange.
Key business activities
Production of food products, such as cooking oil, sugar, rice, and condiments, are the focal points of Wilmar’s business activity and make up the majority of its gross profit. Its consumer food brands such as Arawana Brand, Fortune, Sania, and Simply, are marketed across the Asia Pacific and African countries. Besides producing consumer food products, Wilmar International is active in the feed and industrial products segment. This includes the production of animal feeds, non-edible palm oil, biodiesel, and oleochemicals.
As one of the world’s largest owners of palm oil plantations, Wilmar International Limited is vulnerable to any volatilities in the palm oil sector. The previous years have seen several challenges to the palm oil industry, namely climate uncertainties and political instabilities affecting the global economy. Extreme weather events such as heavy rains and flooding in Malaysia, the second-largest palm oil producer globally, have affected yields. Furthermore, travel restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 resulted in less migrant labor available to work the palm oil plantations there.
While the supply of palm oil could decrease, the demand for the world’s most consumed edible oil is expected to increase and remain strong within the next few years. This is largely caused by concerns over food security, including in the edible oils sector, caused by the Russia-Ukraine war. Despite growing opposition to palm oil among some consumers due to the negative environmental impact of its cultivation, global palm oil consumption continues to rise in the absence of a viable and economical alternative.
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