+/- 10o latitudes of the Equator where ample sunshine and rainfall is abundant
As a perennial tree crop, oil palm has the highest oil yield as compared to other oil crops. It is 5-8 times more productive as compared to other oil crops. Less land is also required to produce equivalent tonnage of vegetable oil. Its high-yield ensure there is consistent supply to meet global demand.
Demand for oils & fats will continue to increase. By 2016, the world population was at 7.3 billion. This will reach 9 billion in 2043. Nearly all of the population growth will occur in developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa’s population expected to grow the fastest (up 108%; 910 million people.
In terms of consumption, palm oil is the most consumed vegetable oil commanding 30% of the market share; India, Indonesia & EU are biggest consumers.
Palm oil is also the most traded commodity,constituting more than half of the 80 millions tonnes.
Out of the total 204 mil tonnes of oils and fats produced, palm oil commands a share of 29 percent , followed by soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oils.
Global Oils & Fats in 2015
The livestock industry uses the most land (3.5 bil ha); is the main driver for past and future global deforestation and direct GHG emission (18% of global emissions) and saturated fats. Doubling of livestock demand by 2050 is catastrophic: Oilseed and milk are main sources of trans-fats. Livestock consume 70% grain and 90% soyabean.
Distribution of Agricultural Area
Of the total 253.8 mil ha of world’s harvested oilseed area, Malaysia’s oil palm only accounted for 1.7%. This small area, nevertheless, provided 13.7% and 27.9% of global production of vegetable oils and exports of oils & fats, respectively
Of the all the countries in the world, only Malaysia and Indonesia are major exporters of oils and fats.
Contrary to NGOs’ claim that millions of hectares of rainforest are felled annually for oil palm, the fact is that Malaysia’s oil palm area stood at 5 mil ha, an increase of only 4.36 mil ha in the last 35 years!
Oil palm helps save forests in many developed countries who are net importers of oils and fats,while palm oil-producing countries can maintain ample forest reserves.
Expansion of oil palm area in Malaysia has mainly occurred through conversion of existing tree crops’ planted areas. Since 1990, 1.39 mil ha of rubber, cocoa and coconut area have been converted to oil palm.
In 2000,Malaysia’oil palm plantations were able to remove not only its own GHG emission but also those of rice & other sectors.
Oil palm is the most efficient crop to provide biodiesel.
In 2007,Malaysia’s oil palm plantations absorbed more GHC emissions including those from energy sector compared to year 2000.