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Monumental change for palm oil in Africa

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Staff writer ▼ | June 26, 2014
Palm oil tree AfricaThe palm oil industry in Africa, where the tree originated in freshwater swamps, is on the cusp of monumental change, Standard Chartered said.


Standard Chartered estimates that the continent could produce an extra 2.8m tonnes of the vegetable oil by 2030, more than doubling current output.

The increase reflects in part the decreasing availability of land in the South East Asian countries, notably Indonesia and Malaysia, where the palm oil tree, whose scientific name of Elaeis guineensis suggesting suggest a West African origin, has thrived since being taken there by Dutch and British traders.

However, an extra incentive will come from growing consumption palm oil consumption in Africa, thanks to the continent's growing and increasingly affluent population.

Africa's palm oil industry, whose output is currently "anaemic", is "on the cusp of monumental change", Standard Chartered analyst Abah Ofon said. "Africa's edible oil market is set to boom," growth which will "create tangible market opportunities" in the sector, and hand strong market shares to those quick to invest.

"Industry players - including concession owners, mill owners, consumers, policy makers and investors – can ride the crest of this wave of Africa's burgeoning demand for crude palm oil."

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