REGAINING MALAYSIAN PALM OIL MARKET SHARE IN THE USA
24
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by Mohd Izham Hassan
The USA is one of the biggest importers of palm oil. It is an important destination for Malaysian palm oil and the main importer of Malaysian palm oil in the Americas region. In 2016, the country imported almost 1.3 million MT of palm oil. Malaysia has been the main exporter of palm oil to the USA since the early 1980’s.

Despite the challenges in the US market especially in countering the allegation that palm oil was an unhealthy oil, Malaysia has managed to allay the concerns through factual research findings which were presented to the American public. This has helped push Malaysian palm oil as one of the main oils imported by the USA. Palm oil comes in second only to rapeseed oil as the most imported oil. In 2016, USA was the seventh largest destination for Malaysian palm oil.

Since the early 2010’s exports of Malaysian palm oil exports to the USA has exceeded 1 million MT annually but since 2015, Malaysian palm oil exports started to dwindle and in 2016, it was just over 500,000 MT. The main reason for the drop is due to the presence of Indonesian palm oil marketers who have managed to encroach into Malaysian palm oil market share. This is done through aggressive marketing and offers of discounts by the Indonesian exporters.

This presentation will look at the consumption aspects of palm oil in the USA and will provide solutions or alternatives for Malaysian palm oil in order to regain market share.



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