By Saraswathi Muniappan
MUMBAI, June 8 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Indonesia would continue to dominate the supply of palm oil in the world for at least another 10 years although many countries have ventured into oil palm cultivation.
Rabobank's Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory's associate director, Pawan Kumar, said both countries accounted for 87 per cent of the world's palm oil production and 90 per cent of the exports now.
"Currently, India has earmarked about 800,000 hectares for oil palm cultivation. But, how long will it take for people to have it on their food?," he said at the Malaysia-India Palm Oil Trade Fair & Seminar 2012.
Palm tree takes three-four years before it starts to produce fruits.
The oil palm plantations in Brazil and Africa also had their own challenges, he said.
"(In Africa) most high population density pockets seem to be located near cities, development of palm plantation would require, in some regions, for urban to rural migration," he said.
Other challenges in Africa were training the labour, developing the seed varieties and managing cultures.
"Brazil has a suitable climate but high cost labour and sustainability pressures will remain the largest challenges," he said.
Palm oil has become the largest vegetable oil produced in the world since 2006, beating soyabean oil.
Palm oil production accounted for 50.23 million tonnes, or 28 per cent, of the total oils and fats output of 179 million tonnes in 2011.
In terms of global export trade of about 68.85 million tonnes of edible oils, palm oil accounted for 38.88 million tonnes, or 56.64 per cent, of total oils and fats exports in 2011.
Malaysia alone produced 18.91 million tonnes, or 37.65 per cent, of total palm oil production in 2011 and exported 17.99 million tonnes, or 46.27 per cent of world palm oil exports.
This is equivalent to about 26.6 per cent of the global oils and fats trade.