Palm oil is the most consumed vegetable oil in the world and is widely viewed as a healthy alternative to hydrogenated oils such as soya and sunflower oil. It is used in a growing number of industrial processes and a wide variety of food and other household products including:
The demand for palm oil has risen steadily over the last thirty years. Since the turn of the century the market has more than doubled in financial terms. It is now an important global commodity with an annual traded value of nearly $50bn in 2011 (around $24bn in 2000). This is projected to rise, with an estimated annual growth rate of between five and six percent, to approximately $63bn by 2015.