Palm oil: US' demand to continue with increased vaccinations, lifted lockdowns, says industry player

Palm oil: US' demand to continue with increased vaccinations, lifted lockdowns, says industry player
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 6): Globally, vaccine rollouts are the order of the day and as Covid-19 cases decline, stringent lockdowns will likely be lifted. 

In relation to palm oil and the United States’ demand for the commodity, Global Agri-Trade Corporation director of sales Benjamin J. Perez sees continuity arising from the positive developments.

He believes the US is heading towards a more prosperous market environment, hence opening more opportunities for sustainable palm oil to enter the country.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has really changed the market in US with the recent trends in the market, focus on sustainability amongst the rallying charges of non-governmental organisations and consumer advocacy groups,” he said at the virtual Palm Oil Internet Seminar (POINTERS) 2021.

He noted that the pandemic has had severe implications on trade imbalance and created a huge rise in commodity pricing indexes, as well pressure on demand for global freight.

“So, that has put a lot of pressure on the palm oil market in US as well,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said the emerging trends in natural food and beverage have been drawn to the benefits and stability of palm oil in terms of analogue and substitute meat products.

“Palm oil had a relatively quiet entry into US but has since seen a rise with regulation being an initial primary driver on demand for palm oil products since 1990s,” he said.

In 2020, US oils and fats consumption was 24 million tonnes, with soybean oil leading the way at 43% of total consumption, while palm oil stood at 6%.

Perez said oils imports to the US amounted to over 5.2 million tonnes, with 33% of the total imports being palm oil, of which 36.7% was from Malaysia.