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Section 2: Global Palm Oil Market Opportunities
22 - 28 Jun 2020
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Section 2: Global Palm Oil Market Opportunities:
Middle East North Africa (MENA) Region - The Prospect of Malaysian Palm Oil
Ms. Fatimah Zaharah

Ms. Fatimah Zaharah is currently in charge of the Middle East and North Africa region. She was previously the officer in charge of sub-continent region covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and CAR. Her responsibilities include data and market statistics analysis, assessment of potential market expansion areas, palm oil issues management and promotion in the region. Prior to working with MPOC, she was with Marketing Divison of an Oleochemical company handling markets such as USA, Japan, India and Iran. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Degree in Economics from Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA.

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Middle East and North Africa (MENA) comprises of 25 countries with a population of almost 700 million people or 10% of the total world population. It is a region with colorful landscapes posed many challenges to trades including oils and fats. In some countries like Libya, Syria and Yemen, uncertainty and post war violence continue to hinder progress. However, there are positive developments documented in some countries in the region such as reconstruction of Iraq and social and economic reforms in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

MENA, particularly GCC countries are well connected with other countries across the globe due to their position as major oils and gas exporters. On the other hand, they are dependent on imports for the supply of food items including vegetable oils.

The region does not produce sufficient oilseed for domestic use, it has to depend on imported oilseed and oils and fats to supplement its domestic requirement of oils and fats. The market currently consumed 27% of palm oil, 25% of sunflower oil and 19% soybean oil and others 29%. In 2018, the region imported 48% palm oil, 28% sunflower oil and 18% soybean oil.

In view of the market size and the region’s dependence on imports as their main source of oils and fats supply, it provides a ready market for palm oil and therefor this paper will explore potential areas for palm oil, particularly Malaysian palm oil to further expand and sustain in the market.
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