Palm Oil is the most popular vegetable oil worldwide.
Recently palm oil became #1 as the most widely produced and consumed oil in the world. Palm oil accounts for 33% of the global production of edible vegetable oils and 54% of its exports.
Production of palm oil is more sustainable than crop based vegetable oils such as soybean and rapeseed. It consumes considerably less energy in production, uses less land and generates more oil per hectare. Only 0.26 hectares of land are required to produce one tonne of oil from oil palm, while soybean, sunflower and rapeseed require 2.2, 2 and 1.5 hectares respectively to produce one tonne of oil.
World production of vegetable oils
The 4 major vegetable oils: Palm, Soybean, Rapeseed (Canola), Sunflower In the past 4 years the changes in world consumption have been significant for all four vegetable oils.
Like all other vegetable oils, palm oil has been designated as cholesterol-free and does not contain trans fatty acids. The oil is widely used as a cooking oil, as an ingredient in margarine, and is a component of many processed foods. It is also used as a feedstock for producing soaps, washing powders, personal care products, and biofuel.
Palm oil has a balanced ratio of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. It contains 40% oleic acid, 10% linoleic acid, 45% palmitic acid and 5% stearic acid.
Palm Oil Imports to the United States
Palm oil has experienced the fastest growth in consumption during the past four years. Palm oil import demand for the European Union is growing continuously owing to attractive conditions for usage as biofuel. The consumption of palm oil has increased at an impressive rate in the Indian market owing to the price advantage of palm oil relative to the seed oils.
The U.S. consumption of soybean oil has been declining since 2006 due to the trans fatty acid issue, it is being replaced by palm oil in shortenings and solid products with zero trans-fat.