Strengthening Malaysian Palm Oil Position in Indian Sub-Continent Market
by Fatimah Zahrah Md Nan
Sub-Continent market which comprises of eight countries; India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan is an important destination for palm oil, particularly Malaysian palm oil.

Agriculture sector is the backbone of their economy as it provides food, income, and employment for the population. Foodgrains, fruits and vegetables are mostly produced in the region. While some efforts are put into increasing their domestic oils and fats production, the region is still heavily dependent on imports to supplement domestic requirements.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are three important market this paper will focus on. Their huge population provides significant consumer based for marketing of Malaysian palm oil. Its limitation towards producing enough oils and fats for domestic use and considerably low per capita consumption are among the factors that enhance the marketability of Malaysian palm oil in the market.

Palm oil has established its presence in the market way back in the 80s and over the years has strengthened its position and dominated palm oil market in the region. However, the market is currently being shared by two main exporters of palm oil, Malaysia and Indonesia, where the later has gained bigger market share due to ample supply as well as price competitiveness.

Therefore, there is a need to look into other areas where Malaysian palm oil can sustain its presence in the market. Malaysian palm oil industry is very well developed and structured to promoted product diversification especially further downstream products with more significant export value. It is wise to explore niche market, promote special fats formulation and more value added products to capitalize future consumers’ demand.

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