The vegetable oil industry has witnessed significant growth over the past few years on account of a growing population as well as the rising demand for alternative energy sources. Among the various types of vegetable oil, palm oil (including palm kernel) accounted for the largest share of the global production in 2007, followed by soybean and rapeseed oil. Of the available vegetable oils, palm oil is the most productive and has the lowest cost of production, thus accounting for the major share of the global vegetable oil output. In recent years, the rising health concerns have also accelerated the demand for palm oil, particularly in the developed markets.
Palm oil use is broadly separated into food and non-food categories. The product is mainly used as cooking oil but is also increasingly being used in the preparation of other food articles. As a non-food ingredient, the product finds application in the production of cosmetics, toiletries, soaps and detergents.