Major Producing and Consuming Countries Malaysia and Indonesia

Oils and Fats in the Marketplace

As the major producers of palm oil (and also producers of palmkernel oil and coconut oil), Malaysia and Indonesia are important areas of world production and trade in vegetable oils. In 2011/12 these two countries together were responsible for 32% of world production of vegetable oils, 87% of world production of palm oil, 60% of world export of vegetable oils, and 89% of world export of palm oil. Indonesia is now the major producer but Malaysia remains a major producer and exporter.

Local consumption in these two countries is influenced in Indonesia by the much higher population and in Malaysia by a large indigenous oleochemical industry based on local supplies of palm oil and palmkernel oil.

Exports of palm oil go to virtually every country. With total palm oil imports of 38.1 million tonnes, the major importing countries/regions in 2011/12 were India (7.5 million tonnes), China (5.8), EU (5.2), Pakistan (2.1), and USA (1.0). Others exceeding 0.5 million tonnes were Egypt, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Iran. Palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia is clearly a very important commodity for the developing world.

In South East Asia (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) in 2011/12, consumption of palm oil (12.95 million tonnes) was divided between food use (7.14 mt, 55.2%), industrial use (5.54 mt, 42.8%), and other uses (0.27 mt, 2.1%).

Table 1. Production, exports, and domestic consumption (million tonnes) of palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia in 2011/12 (USDA report of Feb. 2013)
  Malaysia Indonesia World total
  Population (million) 30 238 7072
    Vegetable oils 20.38 29.89 155.71
    Palm oil 18.20 25.90 50.70
    Vegetable oils 17.61 20.53 63.47
    Palm oil 16.60 18.25 38.96
  Domestic consumption
    Vegetable oils 4.76 8.92 150.03
    Palm oil 3.42 6.67 47.11

Updated March 2013