Global Palm Oil Market Catalysed by Expanding Applications and Health Benefits

The global palm oil market is growing at a rapid pace owing to increasing applications in several industries such as food industry, consumer goods and energy. Apart from this, it is also gaining popularity among the consumers due to the health benefits.

Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palms. It is reddish in colour as it has a high content of beta-carotene. Palm oil yields more oil per hectare and requires considerably less energy for the production process. This makes the production of palm oil more sustainable to other seed crops such soybeans and rapeseeds. According to a latest report by IMARC Group titled, Palm Oil Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2017-2022”, the global palm oil market reached production volumes 69 Million Tons in 2016, growing at a CAGR of around 7% during 2009-2016.

Highlights of the global palm oil market:

  • India represents the largest consumer of palm oil.
  • The palm oil market is influenced by its long shelf life.
  • Food sector is the largest end-use sector of palm oil.

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Palm oil finds a large number of applications, particularly in the food industry where it is used as a cooking oil and shortening. It is also used as an important ingredient in the manufacturing of margarine, ice-creams and non-dairy creamers. Apart from this, palm oil serves as a substitute to products containing animal fats, which are not acceptable on religious grounds in many communities. The second largest end-use industry of palm oil is the consumer goods industry. This industry utilises palm oil in the manufacturing of soaps, detergents, lubricants, greases, candles, etc. Furthermore, the applications of palm oil are also increasing as the governments of many regions are proposing to capitalize on palm oil’s ability to be used as the feedstock for the production of biodiesel and as an alternative to mineral oils for use in power stations.

The market for palm oil is being driven primarily by its resistance to oxidation which promotes long shelf life.  Along with this, its expanding uses are also contributing in the growth of the palm oil industry. This expansion is highly influenced by the health benefits offered by palm oil such as its ability to improve vision and energy levels, boost the immune system, prevent premature ageing and cancer, etc. Unlike other vegetable oils such as coconut oil which are equally high in saturated fats, a controlled consumption of palm oil can prevent several heart diseases which are caused by increased amounts of the LDL and reduction in HDL levels.

On the basis of regions, India represents the largest consumer of palm oil, accounting for the majority of the global market shares. It is followed by Indonesia, European Union, China, Malaysia, etc. An analysis of the competitive landscape finds that Wilmar International is the largest manufacturer in the market, followed by Sime Darby Berhad, IOI Corporation, Astra Agro Lestari, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad and Golden Agri.


  • Food
  • Consumer Goods
  • Energy


  • India
  • Indonesia
  • China
  • European Union
  • Malaysia

Major manufacturers:

  • Wilmar International
  • Sime Darby Berhad
  • IOI Corporation
  • Astra Agro Lestari
  • Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad
  • Golden Agri

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