Where is palm oil grown?
Palm can be cultivated only in tropical areas of Asia, Africa and South America. Global demand for edible vegetable oils has grown strongly in recent decades and palm oil production has expanded rapidly to meet that demand.
From the 1990s to the present time, the area under palm oil cultivation had increased by about 43%. Today, seventeen countries produce palm oil, though Malaysia and Indonesia account for 85% of global palm oil production, where 4.5 million people earn a living from palm oil.
The top five producing nations are:
About one quarter of palm oil production worldwide is used domestically, three quarters is exported. Asia, the European Union and Africa are the main importers of palm oil.
Of the estimated 34m tonnes of palm oil exported in 2008, 16% went to China, 15% to the European Union, 17% to India and 8% to Africa.